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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - ICT conference set to begin

ICT conference set to begin

Kingdom's biggest technology event to showcase latest in telecommunications

CAMBODIA’S international ICT and telecoms conference will kick off on Phnom Penh’s Diamond Island Thursday, with tens of thousands expected to attend.

The three-day World Expo, organised by International Data Group (IDG) Indochina with the National ICT Development Agency (NiDA), will include representatives from leading firms and government organisations.

Expected highlights include a speech by Moa Chakrya, director general of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication (MPTC), on government initiatives to stimulate the sustainable development of telecoms in Cambodia.

Government adviser Sok Siphana, of Sok Siphana and Associates, is to discuss development opportunities in the information and communications technology, or ICT, sector.

The speeches come at a sensitive time, as tension between the ICT sector and the government has increased in recent months.

In early March, Minister of Finance Keat Chhon stepped into an ongoing row between the private sector and MPTC over plans to centralise the Kingdom’s Internet hub.

He ordered MPTC to liaise with Internet service providers, who are deeply worried about the potential negative impact of a ministry plan to channel Internet traffic through government-run exchanges.

Both parties have until April 9 to report potential solutions before a meeting with Prime Minister Hun Sen later that month.

Despite the row, the private sector will be well represented at the conference. Gael Campan, the general director of Beeline, is set to speak about the Cambodian telecoms market. Simon Perkins, CEO of Hello, is to deliver a presentation on the next generation of mobile-phone services in the Kingdom.

John Shirley, CEO of Gapit Communications, is planning to talk about mobile advertising. This follows data released last week by IndoChina Research that show advertising spending in the sector plummeted to US$1.13 million in February, a 24 percent drop from the same period in 2008.

A statement posted on the conference Web site said: “While the world faces challenging times, the Cambodian ICT and Telecom industry is optimistic and excited about merging technologies and emerging business opportunities in new areas.”

Thursday’s launch will be followed by a gala dinner, where awards will be presented for the best ICT-related products to hit the market in the past year.

Representatives from IDG did not answer questions over the phone and did not reply to emails sent by the Post Monday.

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