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Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - No new telco rules meeting

No new telco rules meeting

8 mobile phone

The Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), says it does “not yet” have plans for a new meeting between the TRC and the Kingdom’s mobile operators to discuss the 2009 inter-ministerial prakas, after a meeting scheduled for May 6 was cancelled.

However, TRC director Mao Chakrya told the Post on Wednesday that “the TRC still studies the issue” of the conflict over promotions among the nine operators.

Earlier this month, the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications scrapped an unpopular restriction forbidding telecoms operators from offering special promotions. Since then, some operators have brought back their prior offerings.

The decision followed a long-running dispute over the use of promotions and special tariffs between the operators in Cambodia’s crowded telecoms industry and the TRC, as some of it violated Prakas 232, signed in response to price disputes and to set minimum tariffs.

Ashraf Mokhtar Sahab, commercial director of mobile operator Beeline told the Post that he would welcome a new meeting to get more clarity about the regulation of the telecoms market.

“Since we are back to what it is, yes, we have an understanding of the prakas. But would it be open for discussion again? Would it not be?” he said.

“Well, it’s clear what we are in today. I’m just saying I’m not sure if there will be any further discussion coming up . . . having us do any changes,” he said. “It could be great if there’s a confirmation of some sort or something like that, that nothing is going change in the near future,” he said.

“We don’t want to be in a situation where we have to sort of retract some of our products or stop it or create any inconvenience to the customer.”

Neither market leader Cellcard nor second-largest operator Smart could be reached for comment.

Anthony Galliano, CEO of Cambodian Investment Management, however, said it is “very encouraging that ultimately the TRC left the market to determine pricing”, adding that it benefits the consumer and reduces operating costs for corporate customers.

“The majority of the operators, if not an overwhelming majority, desire an open market with the capacity to package promotions and pricing as they see fit,” he said.

“Resistance to this open competitive market philosophy is only in small pockets,” he continued. “The evolution of the telecoms market in Cambodia is likely to result in an open and fair market going forward, ultimately resulting in two to three operators dominating 90 per cent of the market.”



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