Beeline Laos offers unlimited data for USB modems

Revised February 14

Beeline Laos recently introduced new SIMs which can be changed to data-only SIMs for USB modems. There are two new unlimited data plans: 4,900 kips per day and 130,000 kips for 30 days. Like Beeline’s previous SIMs they cost 10,000 kips and have 5,000 kips credit and are available from the VimpelCom Beeline Office on Lane Xang Avenue, and later from phone shops and Beeline roaming sales teams who may also sell the air cards.

Once activated (SMS 121 [number] or send *121*[number]# (the number begins 20 and is found inside the packaging) the SIM can be used in a phone or modem with the current data plans, and any remaining credit available for voice calls (not possible with a modem).

However, once an unlimited data plan is requested, the SIM becomes data only and with the 5,000 credit can then be used for one day without recharge (SMS 234 AD1). Further usage will require refill. Balance can be checked by sending C to 234.

Beeline Laos 3GConfirmed by the Technical Manager and now by my own tests, there is no bandwidth throttling or data limitation – at least for now. Performance will depend on the speed capability of the device (best with a 14.4 or 21Mbps air card). Beeline sells the ZTE MF-668A for 350,000 kips ($44 or 1,350 baht); download speed will also be affected by base station location and traffic (like all cellular services).

By comparison, Unitel Lao currently offers an unlimited data plan for 5,000 kips per day, but this is throttled to 512Kbps download, 256Kbps upload. Full speed rates of up to 8Mbps down and 2Mbps up cost 450,000 kips per month or 120,000 kips for one week and there may be a daily maximum, as there is with LaoTel.

See all Lao mobile and USB modem data plans.

  1. Dave, 02 March, 2012

    I switched from LaoTel USB internet to Unitel once Unitel started the 450,000K unlimited promotion in Savannakhet. From Sept – Jan, the service was much better than LaoTel, and I was thrilled. I noticed slower speeds from Jan-Feb, and then when I topped up my SIM on Feb 20th, I have had nothing but troubles. Very slow speeds, and up to 20 restarts a day. It would appear to me that Unitel is now throttling even the monthly unlimited plans. I will start a download, and have 2-3Mb/sec rates, but after 10-30min, things slow to a trickle. I either end up with a “local area only” connection, or a show “local and internet” with no speed and virually no ability to open another web page.

    When I was still with LaoTel, they advertised 14.4Mbs and after many trips to the local office, and much debate, I finally got them to admit that there really was no such thing as 14.4Mbs through them. I think it was a tactic to prevent people from jumping ship to UniTel.

    I am just about to start this same process with UniTel now, because I am frustrated at paying such a high rate for “unlimited” that is far from “unlimited”. Do you have any insight or experience with what I have explained?

    A friend’s coworker’s husband, who works for UniTel has expalined it as month end service on the system. This sounds like more of the same mumbo jumbo you usually get when trying to deal with customer service in Laos.

  2. admin, 02 March, 2012

    The speeds the providers quote mean nothing; they are simply the maximum possible to their own servers dependent on the capabilities of the USB modems used or sold by them. e.g. ETL sells a 3.6Mbps one, LaoTel & Unitel 7.2 and Beeline up to 21 Mbps. Performance is always affected by actual bandwidth, cell traffic, signal strength and more importantly, upstream links.

    I’ve never had more than about 2Mbps download from LaoTel or ETL. Unitel managed up to 7Mbps when their 3G service began a year ago, but it has steadily dropped to 2 or 3Mbps where I am. Beeline has also slowed down some since 3/3.5G began in January, especially now they offer unlimited transfer for 130,000 kips per month. Today I am getting 2 to 5Mbps. Beeline is faster and cheaper than the others – in and around Vientiane at least. The Savannakhet office is at 420/6, Ban Phoxay, Kaisone Phomvihane District.

  3. Dave, 08 March, 2012

    Thanks for the reply. Still many problems with Unitel here in Savannakhet. I have had about 5 good days out of 20, which gets my back up because I am on the 450,000K/month plan. A friend refill with the 5,000K/day plan and get the exact same speeds etc when working. Seems it is not throttled down to 512K for him. This being the case, I end up paying the extra 300,000K/mon for the same service. I would be quite happy if the connection was steady at 2Mb and always connected. I am getting tired of hopping back and forth between providers. Reminds me of the long distance wars in N. America during the 90’s.

    Are you using Beeline’s usb modem, or an unlocked one from another provider? I now have the Huawei e1750 from LaoTel which is unlocked, and the Huawei 173 from Unitel. I’d like to just buy a Beeline SIM to test if possible, without investing in another USB modem.

    Thanks for the insights.

  4. admin, 08 March, 2012

    I use a Beeline-supplied MF-668A 21Mbps modem. The Huawei E173 and E1750 are both 7.2Mbps and while they should work with a Beeline SIM (if they are not locked) you’re not likely to get optimum performance; the Beeline ZTE software may also make a difference.

    But why not try with what you’ve got anyway? The SIM is only 10,000 kips with 5,000 credit. Using the software dashboard for the chosen modem, add a new Config name: Beeline 3G with dial number *99# and apn beelinenet. Set as default and try to connect. Without a data plan, you have 5,000 kip worth of data at 300 kips/Mb.

    You could take your laptop to the local Beeline office, do the test there and also ask for a demo with their modem.

    Have you tried using the internet from different locations?

  5. theformer, 26 March, 2012

    Have just been informed from the Beeline office in Vientiane that their “unlimited” plan for 130k/month in fact has a bandwidth limit. Apparently, after 10GB the connection is throttled to 256k because of users like me that download “too much”. I can confirm that my bandwidth has definitely been throttled. Very frustrating. Anyone have similar experiences? (sorry for the double post)

  6. admin, 26 March, 2012

    Correct. Beeline informed me of this (2Gb per day or 50Gb per month) last week and the reason (excessive use by certain users) and I edited the Lao 3G plans page accordingly. Also mentioned on the Lao Comms page.

    Compared to Unitel’s throttled unlimited per day and LTC/ETL’s offerings, it’s by far the best deal – at least in Vientiane and Luang Prabang. A few heavy users who expect continuous unlimited downloads (a lot of it pirated media) for very little money are probably the cause of the restrictions.

  7. admin, 07 May, 2012

    Note that Beeline ‘unlimited’ data allowance has been further reduced to 1Gb per day or 10Gb per month.

  8. Elwood Sonnenfeld, 23 August, 2012

    Heya are utilizing WordPress in your weblog platform? I am new to the blog world however I am attempting to get began and arrange my own. Do you need any html coding knowledge to make your personal blog? Any help can be greatly appreciated!

  9. admin, 24 August, 2012

    I can tell you that spamming someone else’s blog and using an article spinner on your own are not the way to go.

  10. Nunya, 24 January, 2013

    Thanks for all the good information. So for Savannakhet, which operator for 3g or 4g usb do you think is best. Beeline? I have tried Unitel and LaoTel and LaoTel is always better, but more expensive. Does LaoTel have a limit on unlimited? Is Beeline better even with their limitations?

  11. Nunya, 24 January, 2013

    Also, where is Ban Phoxay in Savannakhet?


  12. admin, 24 January, 2013

    Not having personal experience of Savannakhet, I can’t advise about service or locations like Ban Phoxay. The situation seems to be the same all over Laos, including the capital: the best depends on where you are located in terms of signal quality and bandwidth congestion. All providers impose data limits except perhaps for ADSL.

    I have tried to give as much information as possible on my Lao comms and plans web pages.

    There is still no 4G LTE in Vientiane as far as I know as announced last November by Beeline and Lao Telecom!

Copyright © The Retire-Asia Blog