There is something you said in your latest comments below. You mention,
the time of calls. I haven't paid long distance rates tied to the timing of
the call for well over a decade and I don't use any service other than my
local telephone company. I do however prepay for x minutes of long distance
on a monthly basis and that gives me significantly reduced rates (If I
recall correctly from that long ago, Laos $1.80 1st minute and about
$0.80/minute there after, now a straight rate of approx. $0.15USD/minute
with the prepaid plan).
So what does that prepaid long distance do? It allows the telephone
company to purchase volume long disatnce services because they can plan in
advance on their requirements and negotiate lower rates with the big
international long distance networks because they know the volume of long
distance services their customers expect to use. This is similar to what the
pre-paid long distance cards do as well.
You are forgetting something, or ignoring the information from your own
supplied sources. The Lao telecom long distance while it may be controlled
by the government is not directly run by the government. You also seem to
forget that your ITU report also discussed the Lao local phone rates are
some of the lowest in the world. So if they did not charge high rates for
the long distance, what would this do to local rates? Obviously they are
subsidizing the local rates with the high long distance rates. Then you
would be disparaged about the local telephone rates. You can't have your
cake and eat it too.
The ITU report did not mention any form of government taxation or that
the government skimmed off those long distance rates. If you believe that it
did, then please supply some references, pages, sections, paragraphs, from
that report, I saw nothing that said anything of the sort. As I tried to
point out, the use of the word tariff within the report simply refers to the
telephone rate tariffs. A legal word, a historic word for the per minute
charges within the Telecom industry. Yes the government made income from the
telephone rates no matter whether local and long distance combined, they are
a partner in the company.
The greatest impediment to increased internet usage in Laos is simply
the fact that there are so few computer savvy people who even own a
computer. The ITU report chronicles that as did I, estimating at only 480
terminals countrywide. What do you expect, volume pricing like you have in
North America where 60% or greater of the population has access to a
computer and the internet, mostly from thier own homes. Again, what does
that relate to? Volume! With a population of only 6 million, Laos will
likely never have internet rates competitive to those of North America. Of
that population, how many even have reliable access to both telephone
(estimated 4% in the ITU report) and electricity? What does that mean, a
lack of volume! And high infrastructure costs for any expansion.
It may just be my perception of what you have written in this thread,
but it seems you are looking for a predefined outcome, not researching the
topic in earnst. You selectively absorb or use the facts you have found to
come to a predetermined outcome that you expected.
Phi Dung Mo
Post by firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for clarifying the facts that incoming international phone rate
from foreign countries to Laos appear not being subjected to tax or
tariffs in Laos.
Whether that depends on volume or not, I am still not convinced
because volume alone does not necessary lead to lower cost to
Competition and the time when people makes the call seem to dictate
the rate if the consumer is using the regular carrier instead of phone
i.e. If you call at the peak hours, the rate is higher than the non-
peak hours regardless of the volume and lenght of the call.
However, the outgoing international phone rate from Laos is clearly
set by a company with full monopoly of the Lao telcom market and
controlled by the Lao government.
The ITU report clearly indicated that the outgoing international phone
rate is one of the highest in in the world at LPDR. And part of the
telecom's revenue goes directly to the LPDR's coffer in either form of
taxation or fee or tariff whatever they call it. We can dance around
calling this revenue tax, tariff, fee, services or commission however
we want it, but the bottom line is, it is a direct revenue to the
And it is my assertion that, it is within the government's capabilites
to lower the outgoing call rate or at least designing the policy to
inflence it in order to lower barrier (cost) for busines and consumers
to make outgoing overseas calls if the government wants to. It is
commonly agreed at all levels that this digital barrier has negative
impacts on the economic development of the country.
Now on the Internet access issue, I asked Anousak the question whether
the barriers of expansion internet utilization could parallel the
international phone rate situation where the government is setting
artificially high price for ISP to access the backbone or it is set by
the commercial carriers. If that is the case, then the cost to access
internet in Laos will remain high and out of reach of the majority of
the population at large.
Of course cost of subscription is only one the factor but it is the
one that I am focused on.
I don't claim myself to be an expert because I am not. Actually, I am
quite a novice in this fielf. That is why I am here asking questions
and sharing what I found with others in order to expand our knowledge
with anyone who is interested in the subject, free of ego or arrogance
If anyone who wants contribute in the constructive manner in this
discussion, I would like to read from you.