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.
Confirmed 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.