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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Excell eyes expansion of network, financiers

Excell eyes expansion of network, financiers

GT-TELL (Cambodia) Investment Company LTD said Wednesday that it is planning to expand its network coverage in the Kingdom and is looking for partners to invest in the plan.

Zarima Z Khodjaeva, assistant to the CEO of Excell, the brand name of GT-Tell in Cambodia that operates under the 018 exchange, said the mobile provider would look to expand to five provinces - Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Svay Rieng, Takeo and Siem Reap.

"We are planning to attract financing for the expansion plan ... partially," she said Wednesday.

"We have received a number of proposals.... The company is in the process of studying [them] to make [the] appropriate decision.
"It is too early to disclose any more information," she added.

She said that the predominantly Russian-owned mobile-phone company had already completed the required site survey, had imported the necessary equipment into Cambodia and was awaiting permission from the government before going ahead with the project.

"This expansion plan ... [is] according to our business plan," said Khodjaeva.

The government is finalising a draft telecoms law that will in part require increased sharing of mobile network infrastructure to avoid the duplication of towers commonly seen across the Kingdom.

"We welcome such a requirement," said Khodjaeva, adding that this provision would reduce capital expenditure on the part of Cambodia's mobile phone service providers, "which will ultimately lead to lower prices for end users".

Competitive mobile market
Excell's expansion plan comes as the company lags behind the current front-runners in Cambodia's crowded mobile sector - the mobile provider
currently has about 40,000 users, Khodjaeva said.

This represents about 0.9 percent of Cambodia's market of roughly 4.4 million mobile users at the end of the first quarter, according to the industry publication Mobile World.

"We have put out our expansion plan to provide our services to more subscribers," Khodjaeva said.

"During the first year our growth was better than we expected," she said, adding that the company - which started operations in August 2008 - originally targeted 25,000 users in its first year of operation.

"We will continue working on the gradual expansion of our network and [on] improving our services," Khodjaeva said.

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