Unitel has officially conducted a 5G test in Laos, becoming the second player to do so after state-owned Lao Telecom.
The test, which showed a maximum speed of 1.7 Gbps, was held recently in the Lao capital Vientiane during the 19th ASEAN ICT Ministers Meeting and the 10th anniversary of the launch of the Unitel brand, Vientiane Times reported.
5G is the new fifth-generation cellular network technology, which is said to offer speeds 100 times faster than 4G. It is primarily used for smartphones and other similar devices. 5G is also expected to support new applications like remote medical procedures and autonomous driving.
The General Director of Unitel, Mr Luu Manh Ha, said the successful testing is a step towards the beginning of a complete 5G network “in the near future”.
The company will continue to expand 5G mobile network testing in some provinces to give customers the current speed experience while coordinating and reporting to the Ministry of Post and Communication on 5G deployment nationwide.
Unitel has been active in Laos for 13 years and is now the biggest network operator in the country with over 3 million subscribers, which accounts for 56 percent of the country’s telecom market.
Its parent firm, Viettel, tested its 5G network in Cambodia and Myanmar in July and August, respectively, through its local subsidiaries.
Separately, Lao Telecom announced on October 8 that it began trialing its 5G system, becoming the first player in Laos to do so.
Lao Telecom is the first integrated telecommunications provider in Laos. Since 1996, the company has offered wire-line and wireless services to 3.5 million people across the country.
In 2011, the company officially launched 4G network, becoming the first company to provide the system in the country and the second nation to do so in Southeast Asia.
The company also began operating 4.5G services in Vientiane at the beginning of 2017 and then expanded services to the provinces.