Home arrow Laos arrow ICTs in Laos Imprint  Sitemap
ICTs in Laos
Due to the limited infrastructure in Laos, the spread of information and communication technologies (ICTs) is still rather limited. Many rural areas lack adequate electricity supply and the landline telephone network is underdeveloped in the country. Remote areas are connected with a radiotelephone network and there are only 90,000 landline telephones in use. Due to the limited fixed line network, the use of mobile phones is spreading more and more and in 2006 already 640,000 mobile phones were in use in Laos.

Laos was one of the last Southeast Asian nations to adopt the Internet and the country still faces great barriers in Internet access and use. The current telecommunication infrastructure does not allow for high-speed information access, and ICT access is lacking outside urban areas. To compensate the lack of wired access, Internet connections can be established via UMTS or satellite but the costs for utilizing these technologies are quite high and the provided bandwidth rather low.
Presently only a small number of people in Laos have access to the Internet. As the costs are quite high compared to the living standard, only few people have or could afford dialup Internet access. There are a few Internet cafés in the bigger cities but they are mainly frequented by foreigners as their service is too expensive for the average Laotian.
Furthermore, Internet access in Lao schools is practically non-existent. Nevertheless, efforts are made to improve the situation and the organization Schools Online for example currently runs four Internet Learning Centers in Laos.