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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Cellcard service beats out rivals: OpenSignal analysis

A Cellcard employee talks on a phone at the company’s head office in Phnom Penh last October.
A Cellcard employee talks on a phone at the company’s head office in Phnom Penh last October. Hong Menea

Cellcard service beats out rivals: OpenSignal analysis

A recent analysis of Cambodia’s top three cellular service providers conducted by OpenSignal, a wireless coverage mapping company, suggests that CamGSM’s Cellcard is the highest-performing cellular provider in Cambodia, receiving more recognition for its services than either Viettel’s Metfone or Smart Axiata.

OpenSignal, which crowdsources data from phones that have installed its applications, collected data from 8,414 smartphone users in Cambodia between April 1 and June 30 and analysed over 80 million data points to determine comparisons between Cambodia’s cellular companies based on 3G and 4G download speed, latency, and availability.

According to the report, Cellcard stands out as being the best in both 4G and overall download speeds. In other categories the distinction was not so easily awarded: both Cellcard and Metfone tied for best 3G download speeds, while both Cellcard and Smart tied for greatest 4G availability. All three companies had similar levels of 4G and 3G latency, meaning each company experienced similarly small delays in transference of data from networks to individual phones.

“The competition is materially tightening and is pointing toward a two-horse race between Smart and Cellcard,” said Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodian Investment Management. “We are seeing Smart and Cellcard establish themselves as top tier in the field.”

Cambodian service providers only introduced LTE coverage in 2014, but LTE availability has spread across the country quickly and OpenSignal’s LTE Report on the first quarter of 2017 noted that overall, Cambodian cellular service users have been able to access an LTE network 63.3 percent of the time.

While 4G is more available in the country than ever before, connection speed in Cambodia remains markedly lower than most other countries. With a typical speed of 5.7 megabits per second (mbps) across all networks, Cambodia’s connection speed ranked among the slowest of the 87 countries OpenSignal analysed in its report.

“As Cambodian operators add more capacity to their networks, 4G speeds will increase to match LTE’s growing reach,” said OpenSignal analyst Kevin Fitchard in the report.

According to Galliano, competition between Cambodian mobile providers is directly linked to the progress networks have made in recent years.

“Increased competition over the past five years has been the catalyst for material upgrades in product and services, and this should continue as the major [cellular service providers] joust for subscriber dollars,” he said.

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