Some bad news about ham radio in Laos:

Recently (as reported on various forums), I had some big problems with the police/military in my local town in Laos, who were totally unaware of ham radio, (I’m usually the only ham radio operator in the country). They were shocked to discover that I had a radio transmitter etc! My property was ‘swamped’ by police for several days win a row, who ‘grilled me’ about what I was doing, and who took enough photos of me and my ham gear to fill a large photo album! I was also ‘invited’ to police headquarters:) The situation was resolved with the good assistance of the Lao radio licencing department, who explained to the police/military that I was legally allowed to operate my ham equipment.

My XW0LP licence comes up for renewal on 1st October, and I applied to renew for all existing HF bands, but also 472 KHz, 60m (denied last time), and 6 metre band. However, it seems that the police/military have been in touch with the licencing department, and instructed that I should not be allowed to operate on any bands where ham radio is not the primary user.

What does this mean? Well, I am denied to operate on 472 KHz, 60m and 6 metre bands. But additionally, I will no longer be allowed to operate on the 80 metre and 30 metre bands, since ham radio is a secondary user on those bands in region 3.

This is bad news! But I can still operate on 160, 40, 20, 17, 15, 12 and 10 metre bands.

I have to cease operation on 80m and 30m at local midnight on 30 September!

Therefore, in order to provide as many QSOs as possible, from now until that cut-off time/date, I will ONLY operate on 80 and 30, using FT8 on the normal frequencies. I will monitor 80m during local night-time hours, and will monitor 30m during the local day and evening hours, (ie from about 1 hour after local sunrise to about 3pm UTC (or later if I can ‘jump’ between 30 and 80!)

I will especially respond to calls from stations that I have not worked previously. I’ll upload to LOTW and QSL cards can be ordered from my QSL manager (see my QRZ entry).

This bad news is not the fault of the Lao radio licencing department, who have been very supportive of my hobby. At least I wasn’t instructed to cease all ham radio activities (if I was, then I’d leave the country for pastures new!).

Simon – XW0LP