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First 3G Network Launched in Laos

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Lao Telecommunications says that it has launched the first 3G network in Laos in the capital city, Vientiane. The company also plans to expand the network into the main cities during 2009.

The firm added in a statement that it aims to sign up some 30,000 subscribers before the end of this year, with a further 100,000 during next year. The company is currently the largest operator in the country, and figures from the Mobile World database notes that the firm ended the first half of this year with 760,000 subscribers - representing a market share of 67%.

The country as a whole ended the period with an estimated 1.14 million mobile phone customers and a population penetration level of 17%.

Established in 1996, Lao Telecommunications is a joint venture between the government of the Lao People's Democratic Republic (51%) and Shenington Investments, a holding company set up by Thaicom (49%) for an initial period of 25 years

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