I’ve finally managed to get internet working at home by running my laptop through my mobile phone’s GPRS internet connection. I’m using Tigo as my carrier, although I’d heard ETL is faster. The speed is the same as dial-up, so probably no Skype, but if I can post on this blog I’ll be pretty happy.

My attempt to get broadband internet in Vientiane has been rather difficult. After almost half a year of procrastinating – something I really need to address – I spent this week trying to get internet access from home as I am looking to commence a few new website projects.

Lao Telecom is the main government telco in the country. I went to them last month to ask about ADSL. They said that their subscriptions were currently full and to come back next month. So I went there yesterday as they suggested to enquire again – no dice, please come back in two months time. I’m not sure whether businesses have any more luck with getting ADSL, but it’s quite fustrating that they don’t seem to be taking any more home subscriptions at the moment.

Another broadband internet option is the wireless provider Planet Online. I’ve been told they’re pretty good, but unfortunately they have a minimum 6 month contract. They also have download limits, it’s $50 for 1GB for 1 month, unlike ADSL through Lao Telecom.

So I decided that internet through my mobile was the only real option I had and spent today and yesterday researching it on the internet and trying different settings to get a connection. I’ve finally managed to get a connection now and am hoping it remains stable enough for me to finish this post.  This weekend I’ll try to buy an ETL SIM card and try it out to see if it’s much faster. I’m also told you can use Thai SIM cards, which might give you an even faster speed.

For anyone that’s interested in connecting their Laptop to the internet through Tigo Lao via GPRS on their mobile here are the steps I followed:

1. Step up GPRS internet access on your mobile phone. You can do this by calling Tigo or visiting their website to see their settings. I had to visit their office with my Samsung 900i and they inputted the settings for me.

2. Follow the settings at: http://www.etllao.com/images/GPRS2-1.jpg  , however I used the following initialisation for Tigo:

+CGDCONT =1,”IP”,”tigolaowap”  (cut and paste this into your field)

This site was very helpful with setting up GRPS.

Well that’s the rough guide. If people are more interested in the details I’ll write a more detailed post when I have a better internet connection.