Lao Telecom SIM Cards and eSIM 2024: a Comprehensive Guide for Tourists

This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to get and activate a Lao Telecom SIM or eSIM, including information about data plans, coverage areas, and how to use them when you visit Laos.

Are you thinking about a tour in Laos and don’t know where to get a SIM card throughout your trip? We will recommend Lao Telecom which provides various great services for travelers in Laos. 

This article will help you to get the most suitable Lao Telecom SIM card for your trips!


I. Quick facts about Lao Telecom


Lao Telecom is the leading telecommunications service provider in Laos, the second largest mobile network operator in Laos after Unitel Laos:

Here are some facts about Lao Telecom (LTC):

  • Ownership: Lao Telecom is state-owned and partially privatized, with ownership by state and foreign telcos
  • Brand name: Tropika
  • Headquarters: Vientiane
  • Established: in 1979
  • Number of subscribers: Over 2 million mobile subscribers nationwide in 2022
  • Service provided: Mobile, landline, broadband, IPTV

Lao Telecom provides solid national coverage, it may not be the “greatest” choice in terms of network size/speed. But for reliable basic connectivity across Laos at affordable prepaid prices, it’s still a good local option for tourists. 

II. Laos Lao Telecom Coverage and Speed in Laos

Lao Telecom offers extensive coverage across Laos. They achieved coverage of over 90% of Laos’s population. Whether you are exploring the bustling streets of urban or venturing into the picturesque countryside, you can expect to have a stable connection with Lao Telecom.

1. Lao Telecom coverage in Laos

Lao Telecom Coverage map. Source:

You can check out Lao Telecom’s coverage map with service cover up to 90% of Lao’s population above.

So, you can find that this map shows how this network operator has quite a big network, 4G/LTE covers lots of places, including major cities and countryside areas. Lao Telecom’s 5G coverage has been slowly expanding since 2020. And so now, Lao Telecom held another 5G launch ceremony during the Lao Digital Week 2024 event, Lao Telecom revealed it is now offering 5G services in 28 locations across Vientiane, including tourist attractions, several shopping malls, and universities, and Wattay International Airport. 


When it comes to network coverage across Laos, Lao Telecom has the largest coverage, with near-nationwide 4G. So, in terms of coverage, Lao Telecom should be your choice. Most of the time, users say that they can browse the internet pretty fast and stay connected without any problems. This means you can easily do like use social media such as TikTok, Facebook, or Instagram, watch videos, or even play games online.

2. Lao Telecom speed in Laos


According to this result by Broadbandspeedchecker, Lao Telecom has this 4G/LTE network that’s lightning fast in major population in Laos, with Download speed is 41.81 Mb/s and Upload speed is 20.67 MB/s, which means you can browse the web, watch videos, or use apps smoothly.


Those speeds might vary slightly from destination to destination, but overall, Lao Telecom provides the fastest speed now

III. What are the Best Connectivity Options of Lao Telecom for Travelers to Laos?

Lao Telecom has got you covered with some awesome ways to stay connected including SIM cards, Pocket WiFi, or Roaming so that you can choose the best way for your needs. Check out the options belows: 

SIM Card Price quite affordable (from $3- $50)No Wifi hotspot
Widest 2G, 3G coverage nationwideLimited by cellular connection
Pocket WiFiProvides Wifi hotspotHigher rental cost than SIM ($25-$100)
No SIM neededDevice needs to be returned
RoamingNo need to add a new SIM, but only your primary SIM onlyExpensive, difficult to control 

SIM card is the ideal option for travelers while pocket WiFi works well for groups staying in one place, bundles provide cost control but they have fixed data limits versus pay-as-you-go SIM cards when you would like to travel to Laos for a long time.

Overall, using Lao Telecom SIM cards is a good simple choice for many different tourists.

Tip: Check your mobile devices to be suitable for options, and your home carrier for specific roaming charges and limitations.

IV. Best Lao Telecom SIM cards for Tourists and Cost

Lao Telecom provides variety of SIM cards for tourists. This allows customizing the solution based on your devices and travel durations. Nowadays, the best option for your trip is a Jaidee SIM by Lao Telecom with many packages. You can check some recommended plans:

PackageDataValidityPrice (KIP)Price (USD)
Jaidee SIM5 GB3 days20000K$0.95
Jaidee SIM7 GB7 days30000K$1.43
Jaidee SIM90 GB30 days110000K$5.27

These packages are provided 3G, 4G, and 5G network that you can connect fluently. Overall, the Jaidee SIM for 7 days plan provides a good balance of data, time, and price suitable for most tourists’ needs in Laos without incurring excessive costs. The other options may provide more data but it seems not to be suitable for short trip lengths.

V. Does Lao Telecom Laos support eSIM?

Yes, Lao Telecom launched support for eSIMs in late 2020, making them one of the earlier operators in Southeast Asia to do so. If you are still worried about the best choice. Let’s compare the physical SIM and eSIM below:

FeaturesSIM CardeSIM
ProsCompatible with nearly all phonesNo physical card needed
Can be bought easily locallyCan load multiple profiles on one device
No activation feesManage profiles remotely online
ConsRequires insertion in deviceLimited to newer flagship devices
Can be lost and damagedRequires cloud connection for set up
Only one or two SIM per deviceNot universally adopted yet

In summary, eSIM eliminates physical SIM hassles but needs a compatible smart device. Besides, eSIM provides advantages for international travelers and flexibility to change providers. So with these conveniences, eSIM is also a great choice for you when traveling to Laos.

VI. Where can you buy a Lao Telecom SIM card and eSIM?

Upon arrival in Laos, getting a Lao Telecom SIM card is easy. You can buy Lao Telecom SIM card or eSIM at some options there.

1. Where to buy Lao Telecom SIM for Laos

In Laos, you can buy SIM cards from various sources, including the following:

  • Airports: If you’re arriving in Laos by air and you want to have a SIM card right away, you can typically find SIM card vendors or kiosks at the major international airports.  You can check below: Wattay International Airport, Luang Prabang International Airport (LPQ), or Pakse International Airport (PKZ).
  • Lao Telecom stores: The Lao Telecom official stores in major cities, towns, and tourist areas. Lao Telecom offers a variety of special tourist and short-term SIM plans. Just use Google Maps to find Lao Telecom store nearby, and you will get the list to go. 
  • Local mobile stores: There are numerous mobile phone shops and retailers throughout Laos where you can buy SIM cards. These shops may carry SIM cards from multiple operators, giving you more options to choose from. They are often found in shopping malls, markets, and commercial areas. 

Note: If you need to change the physical size of your SIM card during your trip, most providers will charge a handling fee for the alteration. The exact fee varies between carriers, so it's important to check individual policies.

2. Where to buy Laos Lao Telecom eSIM

The best place to buy a Lao Telecom eSIM is to get it online and the best time is before your departure, and voila once you land, you can connect to network. 

So visit to register and download profiles remotely using a Lao phone number or ID. 

Here are the basic steps to buy a Lao Telecom eSIM online before your trip to Laos:

  • Go to the Lao Telecom website and click on the eSIM tab.
  • Select the travel dates and data bundle you need (usually 7-30 day options starting at 150MB). 
  • Receive an activation code on the same or provided email. 
  • Activation code and follow prompts to install the eSIM profile. 
  • Once installed, you’ll have Lao Telecom connectivity on arrival in Laos. 

With pre-activated eSIM, you’re all set to enjoy seamless connectivity from day one in Laos.

Or you can also buy it at Lao Telecom Stores. Their stores in major cities like Vientiane, Luang Prabang, and Pakse offer eSIM activation and support if you need it.

VII. How to Use and Activate Lao Telecom Laos SIM/eSIM in Laos?

It’s not too difficult to use a Lao Telecom SIM and eSIM. In case this is your first time using it, you can check for instructions below.

1. How to Use and Activate Lao Telecom SIM Cards in Laos?

  • Insert your SIM card: Locate the SIM card on your mobile device
  • Power on your device: Turn on the device and wait for it to recognize the SIM card
  • Activate the SIM card: Once your device is connected to the Lao Telecom network, you may need to activate your SIM card.
  • Set up APN settings if you can not use the eSIM.
  • Check your balance and service.

2. How to Use and Activate Lao Telecom eSIM?

  • Install the eSIM
  • Activate the eSIM
  • Set up the eSIM
  • Start using eSIM: Once the eSIM is successfully activated, you can start using it for your communication needs.

Activation instructions for common devices:

  • iPhones: Go to Settings → Cellular Data → Add Cellular Plan
  • Samsung: Go to Connections → SIM Card Manager → Add Embedded SIM Profile
  • Google Pixels: Go to Settings → Network & internet → SIM cards → Add an eSIM

VIII. How to Top-up Lao Telecom Laos SIM/eSIM

To ensure ongoing connectivity, it’s essential to keep your Lao Telecom SIM card topped up with sufficient credit. 

Here are some easy options for tourists to top up their Lao Telecom SIM card while visiting Laos:

  • Purchase prepaid vouchers: These can be conveniently bought at the airport upon arrival or at any convenience/telco stores. Amounts start from 20000 KIP (~$2).
  • Top up at Lao Telecom stores: Flagship stores are located in major cities and have English-speaking staff. Cash, cards, or vouchers are accepted. 
  • Use the Lao Telecom mobile app: Download before travel, register your number, and top up seamlessly using an international debit/credit card once in Laos. 
  • SMS/USSD top-up: Text your number + PIN + amount to 1000. Or dial *168*PIN# amount#. Eg. *168*1234#20000# Adds 20000 KIP. 

IX. Alternatives to Laos Lao Telecom

In this case, a Unitel SIM card or eSIM plan may be a better-suited option. As the one of large mobile network operators in Laos, Unitel has second reported download and upload speeds according to tests.

Travelers with eSIM-compatible devices have a convenient option with Laos Unitel – their digital eSIM plans eliminate the need for physical delivery. 

Gigago is considered one of the top providers of eSIM plans connecting to the Unitel network in Laos. This is thanks to several advantages they offer, including:

  • A diverse range of plan options to suit different needs and budgets
  • Competitive pricing that provides good value 
  • Quick and convenient support through WhatsApp, Facebook, and email 
  • Reliable alternative to traditional ETL SIM cards

Let’s see Unitel eSIM packages as alternatives for Lao Telecom SIMs:

Unitel eSIM plans

Plan NameData AllowanceValidityPrice
Classic 1 Day500MB1 day$1.50
Weekly1.5GB7 days$5
Monthly Lite3GB30 days$10
Monthly Classic5GB30 days$15
Monthly Plus10GB30 days$20
3 Month Basic10GB90 days$35
6 Month Standard30GB180 days$60

GIGAGO delivers a quality eSIM experience on Unitel’s network through factors like varied plans, affordable prices, and accessible customer service. You can search some of their best plan options:


Detailed setup guides are provided in multiple languages to ensure smooth installation of the eSIM on any compatible device. If you have any activation issues, customer support is available 24/7 via live chat, email, and WhatsApp.

For Laos, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 15 GB for 10 days with $6.90 . What is great about Gigago’s Laos eSIM is that its plans’ costs are diversifying, varying between $6.90$12.90 . Thus, it does not matter how Internet users you are and how long your trip is in Laos, there is always an option for you with Gigago.

X. FAQs about Lao Telecom in Laos

1. Is Lao Telecom’s mobile data fast enough for gaming?

Yes, it’s generally possible to play game online on your mobile internet. The thing is, the quality might depend on how good your mobile coverage is. But overall, it works quite well.

2. Does Lao Telecom block or slow down any internet service?

Overall, there is little evidence that Lao Telecom systematically blocks or throttles major internet services. As a state-owned operator, they may comply with government requests to restrict access to certain websites/ platforms in rare cases. But don’t worry, common internet activities like social media, engines, new sites, and streaming work normally without restrictions.

3. Can I use eSIMs for calls or text messages (SMS)?

eSIM plans do not include a phone number for receiving calls and texts.

XI. Conclusion

With the features, data, and convenient rates of Lao Telecom’s network packages, you can comfortably connect to data during your trip to Laos. We hope this detailed guide has provided you with all the information you need to make the right decision for your connectivity needs in Laos. Buy a Lao Telecom SIM card or eSIM that best suits your data usage needs, trip length, and budget for smooth connectivity throughout your trip. Wishing you a happy trip to Laos!