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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Chinese telco gears up for an August 4G launch

Chinese telco gears up for an August 4G launch

Xinwei Cambodia, China’s first step into the Kingdom’s telecoms market, planned to launch fourth-generation mobile services in August, according to officials and a company statement.

The Beijing-based firm will deploy its homegrown network technology, McWiLL, and was expected to launch top-to-bottom operations that, according to the statement, would be backed by China Development Bank.

Minister of Posts and Telecommunications So Khun said yesterday that Xinwei has been testing operations.

He said he expects to receive next week a formal letter from the company detailing its operation plans.

Deploying the 4G mobile connections that Xinwei claims it will offer would require a US$100 million investment, So Khun said.

“I know this service will be a step up with 4G. But I don’t know if it will succeed. This will depend on [Xinwei’s] promotion and pricing,” he added.

Despite Xinwei’s presence in 21 countries – including North Korea, Myanmar and the United States – regional telecoms analysts have said there is little information available on the company.

Cambodia will see the first international deployment of McWiLL for mobile services, although Xinwei was also working on networks in Papua New Guinea, Zimbabwe, Ukraine and Brazil, according to the website.

The company has not put a dollar figure on its Cambodian operations, and representatives have routinely denied requests for interviews.

China Development Bank visited the firm in Cambodia late last month and intends to “fully support the globalisation” of Xinwei networks, according to the statement.

The state-owned bank was cited in an early 2011 US-China Economic and Security Review Commission report as providing an unfair pricing advantage via noncompetitive to China’s Huawei and ZTE, the world’s two largest technology device manufacturers.

To contact the reporter on this story: Don Weinland at don.weinland@phnompenhpost.com

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