Use Cell Phone In Laos for Travelers 2024: How To Do It?

Are you traveling to Laos and wondering how your cell phone can be a valuable companion throughout your journey? Well, knowing how to use cell phone in Laos the smart way can be helpful for you when navigating, finding local information, capturing unforgettable moments, and staying connected with your loved ones back home. Say goodbye to travel worries and unlock the full potential of using your cell phone in this beautiful country.

I. Highlights of Phone Compatibility, Frequencies and Networks in Laos

Here are some highlights about phone compatibility, network frequencies, and mobile network operators that tourists to Laos should keep in mind:

Phone Compatibility

Luckily, major mobile network carriers in Laos use standard frequencies which compatible with most modern mobile phones. Basically, most GSM and 3G phones are compatible and 4G LTE networks are available in major Laos cities. However, it is essential to confirm that your device supports these frequencies before departure.


Frequencies used in Laos:

  • GSM: 900/1800 MHz
  • 3G: 900/2100 MHz
  • 4G LTE: 1800/2100 MHz

Networks in Laos

Four major mobile network operators in Laos are ETL, Lao Telecom, Unitel, and Beeline.

  • ETL: is the largest mobile operator in Laos with the widest coverage
  • Lao Telecom: is the state-owned operator with strong coverage in rural areas
  • Unitel: this is the join venture between Lao Telecom and Viettel which gain market share rapidly in recent years
  • Beeline: Russian-owned with the smaller market share than three other operators.

II. Use Cell Phone in Laos – Will My Phone Work In Laos?

Devices have to be compatible with Laos mobile frequencies
Devices have to be compatible with Laos mobile frequencies

Most likely Yes. But, first of all, it’s important to check if your smartphone is unlocked. A SIM lock, or network lock, is a technical restriction implemented by phone manufacturers to limit the use of the device to specific networks.

Travelers can check this through current mobile operators in their home countries. 

Next, travelers should check your phone’s operating frequencies. Phones function using wireless signals within specific frequency ranges. Each mobile technology, such as 2G, 3G, 4G, and 5G, operates within its own set of frequencies. 

Don’t worry, as I said above, most mobile phones today can connect to Laos frequencies. 

III. Do I Need An International Plan In Laos?

It depends on your particular situation and the phone service provider you’re using.

If you’re using a service provider that covers international roaming, you may not need an international plan.

However, if you plan to make calls or use data while in Laos, you may need to purchase a separate international plan for the most suitable costs. 

IV. What Are Options To Use Cellphones In Laos For Tourists?

1. Mobile roaming in Laos

Using international roaming is the simplest way to use your phone in Laos, but it can be expensive if your home country lacks an agreement. Instead, consider activating roaming before your trip, following the tutorials provided. If you’re traveling from Asia, contact your provider to inquire about affordable roaming rates, especially if you have a SIM from Metfone Cambodia, Mytel Myanmar, or Viettel. Remember to explore alternative options like local SIM cards or Wi-Fi to avoid excessive charges.

2. Get a Laos SIM!

SIM Card is the best choice for trips to Laos
SIM Card is the best choice for trips to Laos

If roaming isn’t an option, the best solution is to get a local SIM card in Laos, which is inexpensive. You can purchase a SIM card at major entry points like Vientiane Airport or Luang Prabang Airport. Alternatively, you can even have a SIM card delivered to your hotel in Vientiane before your arrival. When buying a prepaid SIM, remember to bring your passport for registration.

With a prepaid SIM, you pay for your communication upfront as you go, without any contract. To add credit, you can buy mobile top-up vouchers or recharge electronically at various points of sale across Laos. It’s recommended to subscribe to a data package after topping up, as it’s more cost-effective. On average, 1GB of data in Laos costs less than $1, and package durations range from 1 to 30 days.

3. Laos hotspot

If you’re focused on data and want to stay connected while traveling, consider investing in a mobile hotspot device. It creates a portable Wi-Fi network that you can share with a group of people. Simply get a local Laos SIM Card and insert it into the device. It’s cost-effective and prices range from $50 to $150.

V. Will My Local Network Work In Laos?

Travelers can connect to mobile network easily in Laos
Travelers can connect to mobile network easily in Laos

Firstly, you need to ensure that your mobile phone is unlocked and compatible with the frequencies used by Lao mobile networks. It’s recommended to check with your local mobile service provider to confirm if they have roaming agreements with operators in Laos. 

In some cases, you may need to activate international roaming before your trip. Alternatively, you can consider purchasing a local SIM card in Laos for better coverage and cost savings.

VI. Gigago eSIM – An Alternative To Get Internet In Laos With Your Cell Phone

Gigago eSIM is a popular choice for travelers seeking a reliable and affordable option for staying connected while exploring Laos. With Gigago eSIM, you can enjoy seamless internet connectivity without the need to rely on public Wi-Fi hotspots.

Setting up Gigago eSIM is incredibly easy. All you need is an unlocked eSIM-compatible cell phone, such as an iPhone, Samsung, or Google Pixel. Simply purchase the Laos eSIM online before your departure and receive the eSIM details via email. The email will contain a QR code and user guide for installation on your phone. 

One of the key advantages of Gigago eSIM is its wide coverage across Laos with affordable costs. No matter where you go, Gigago eSIM ensures you stay connected throughout your journey.

Gigago's Laos eSIM
Gigago’s Laos eSIM

For Laos, Gigago offers multiple data plan options, starting from 15 GB for 10 days with $6.90 . What is great about Laos eSIM by Gigago 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.

VII. Extra Tips To Use Cell Phone in Laos

You can refer to some suggestions below: 

  • Check for compatibility: Ensure that your phone is unlocked and compatible with the frequencies used by Lao mobile networks. 
  • Purchase a local SIM card: You can buy a Laos SIM card at major entry points like airports or have it delivered to your hotel. Remember to bring your passport for registration.
  • Top up your account: Add credit to your SIM card by purchasing mobile top-up vouchers or recharging electronically at various outlets. This will enable you to make calls, send messages, and use data services.
  • Be cautious with public Wi-Fi: If you connect to public Wi-Fi networks, exercise caution when accessing sensitive information like banking or personal accounts. Consider using a virtual private network (VPN) for added security.
There are some simple tips that all travelers can follow
There are some simple tips that all travelers can follow

VIII. FAQs about Use Cell Phone in Laos

What are the costs associated with using a cell phone in Laos?

The costs associated with using a cell phone in Laos can vary depending on your usage and the specific mobile plan you choose. It’s recommended to compare the rates and offerings of different mobile carriers to find a plan that suits your needs and budget.

What are some recommended mobile apps for travelers in Laos?

There are several recommended mobile apps for travelers in Laos. Some popular ones include maps and navigation apps like Google Maps or for getting around, currency conversion apps like XE Currency for managing finances,… 

How reliable is the mobile network coverage in remote areas of Laos?

It’s advisable to check with local residents or service providers to get an idea of ​​the coverage in specific regions or destinations you plan to visit. In some remote areas, you may experience limited or no signal reception.

What should I do if I encounter any issues with my cell phone while in Laos?

If you encounter any issues with your cell phone while in Laos, the first step is to contact your mobile carrier’s customer support. Additionally, you can seek help from local phone repair shops or authorized service centers if you have technical issues with device.

IX. Conclusion

In conclusion, using cell phones in Laos has become increasingly popular and beneficial. It has connected people across the country, allowing for easier communication and access to information. With its user-friendly features and widespread availability, cell phones have greatly enhanced the lives of travelers in Laos, fostering convenience and connectivity.