Accordingly, Unitel, the brand name of Viettel in Laos, will become the first operator to offer the 5G technology in the country. Marking its 10th anniversary (October 21, 2009/ October 21, 2019), Unitel also plans to open a large-scale tech expo in Laos on October 23.

An Unitel booth with smart tech products. (Photo for illustration)

In February this year, Unitel was a pioneer in introducing eSIMs to the Lao people, lifting the country to the rank of 7th out of 10 ASEAN member states in terms of advanced telecommunications services. As a strategic partner with the Lao government, the company is currently implementing crucial parts of the key e-government systems for Laos.

The joint-venture of Viettel in Laos has been highly praised by the Vietnamese and Lao governments and is considered a successful cooperation model. This was highlighted by Lao Prime Minister Thongloun Sisoulith during his recent official visit to Vietnam from October 1 to 3.

After 13 years of operating in Laos, Unitel has become the biggest network operator there with over 3 million subscribers, accounting for 56% of the country’s telecom market.

Founded in October 2009, the Viettel subsidiary operates across all 17 provinces and cities in Laos. It has taken the lead in the Lao telecom market for eight consecutive years thanks to a vast network of 6,000 2G, 3G and 4G stations, covering 95 percent of the country. The percentage of Lao mobile users has also increased from 18 percent to 85 percent in several years.

After ten years of operation, Unitel's cumulative profit reached nearly US$ 590 million with EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization)  always remaining above 55 percent. By the end of 2018, Unitel had earned Viettel nearly US$ 185 million, almost 6.3 times higher than the investment capital.

According to Do Manh Hung, General Director of Viettel Global, the success of Unitel has proved that Vietnamese companies have adequate potential and experience for overseas investment, contributing to developing other countries and improving Vietnam’s position in the world.

During its operation, Unitel also took part in numerous social welfare programs, which aim to improve the living conditions of Lao people, such as offering free internet access to schools, supporting disaster-hit people, providing scholarships for needy students, and training highly qualified laborers.

Translated by Trung Thanh