A US$1 million centre opened Thursday in Phnom Penh aimed at improving the country's digital TV and satellite broadband services, officials said.
The centre has been set up by the Cambodia DTV Network Limited (CDN), a subsidiary of Thailand's satellite TV operator Thaicom Public Company Limited.
Thaicom was formerly known as Shin Satellite, a division of the Shin Corporation set up by Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra.
Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith said Thursday that the DTV system was the first to bring together almost all of the nation's TV channels and offer them on a single platform broadcast directly to households across the Kingdom.
The only TV station not signed up is CTN, the Cambodian Television Network, which is owned by the Royal Group.
"DTV brings information to districts, schools, the armed forces and especially to the people at the border, so I hope CTN will join in the future," Khieu Kanharith said.
He added that the service would also be broadcast on a trial basis to people in the area of southern Vietnam known to many Cambodians as Kampuchea Krom.
Jiroj Srinamwong, CDN's general manager, said DTV had been deployed to more than 50,000 families in Cambodia over the past year in a cooperative effort with the state broadcaster TVK.
"The demand for satellite TV in Cambodia is increasing in everyday life, in schools and in public administration as well as in the industrial sector," he said. "DTV is applicable in all areas where the cost of electricity is high and unreliable because it can work off a battery."
Future mobile access
Khieu Kanharith added that by the end of the year people would be able to access TV shows using compatible mobile phones in areas with 3G coverage.
"All means of media access and broadcasting will be available, and the country will stop analog broadcasting by 2015," he said.
CDN set up operations in Cambodia in February 2008 and aims to provide digital TV across the country with a focus on rural areas where the majority of Cambodians live, it has said.
The company will establish another eight dealers in the provinces before the end of the year, it said.
The DC power version of its DTV set will have a retail price of US$78, which pays for the satellite dish and a set-top box unit with a battery connection.