The authors present a novel, low cost laser transmitter for telecommunication systems. This device, called discrete mode (DM) laser, is basically a ridge waveguide Fabry-Pérot (FP) laser, whose wavelength spectra has been modified to obtain a single mode operation. This is achieved by perturbing the effective refractive index of the guided mode along very small sections of the laser cavity, by etching features into the ridge waveguide. Suitable positioning of these interfaces allows the mirror loss spectrum of an FP laser to be manipulated in order to achieve single longitudinal mode emission. The waveguide structure requires only a single growth stage and uses optical lithography to realise the ridge. In addition, the fabrication process is re-growth free. Despite this simple and low cost fabrication process, the DM lasers portray many advantages over the distributed feedback and distributed Bragg reflector lasers, such as very high side mode suppression ratio, stable operation over a large temperature range, narrow linewidth and low sensitivity to optical feedback.