ASIA NEWS NETWORK
WE KNOW ASIA BETTER
Laos boosts regional telecoms connectivity
Publication Date : 06-03-2013
Laos is working on several projects aimed at boosting information and telecommunications technology (ICT) connectivity in the Southeast Asian region.
Deputy Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Thansamay Kommasith, yesterday affirmed the progress made by Laos when he addressed the opening ceremony of the Asean Telecommunication and Information Technology Senior Officials' Meeting Joint Working Group and Dialogue Partners Meeting.
“We have installed optical fibre cable from north to south, and east to west as a national transmission backbone and link to all provinces and districts countrywide,” he told meeting particiapants.
As Asean will become a single community in 2015, many sectors of its member states have embarked on practical approaches to prepare for the changes that will take place. These include the ICT sector, which has developed the regional ICT Master Plan 2015.
Thansamay said Laos' optical fibre network connected to all countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion, while an Internet exchange centre has been set up to serve as a domestic and international gateway for voice and data transmission.
Meanwhile the first phase of an e-government project has been successfully implemented. With regard to information security, the deputy minister said, Lao Cert has also been set up to deal with network and information security and coordinate with certification bodies in other countries.
As broadband Internet access is now available in most towns and is being gradually extended to rural areas, the current teledensity has reached 86 per cent, including both mobile and fixed telephones.
Thansamay said the Asean ICT Master Plan 2015 is an important guide for member states in jointly developing ICT in an integrated manner towards Asean connectivity.
He said his ministry has held many workshops for government officials and technicians from all the ICT operators and IT companies in Vientiane and the provinces.
The workshops are necessary to circulate information and allow personnel to develop a better understanding of the objectives of the master plan, and to jointly develop projects and products under each strategy of the plan.
Director of the Department of Transportation and Communication of the Philippines, Philip A. Varilla, who is also the joint working group meeting chairperson, reminded the gathering about the report by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) on ICT development in Laos.
He pointed out the positive growth outlined at the last Asean Telecommunication and IT Ministers Meeting held in Cebu, the Philippines, in November last year. Varillap said that as some Asean member states had experienced double digit growth in mobile communications service penetration, the Philippines had completed a second project on submarine cable protection.
At the joint working group meeting, which ends tomorrow, the participants from Asean, Asian dialogue partner countries, the European Union, and the ITU will discuss and approve project proposals to be implemented this year under the Asean ICT Master Plan 2015.
The various projects aim to boost socio-economic development in Asean member states through technological advancement.