US pop star Stacie Orrico performs at the launch of the qb mobile network at Olympic Stadium, Phnom Penh, On March 15.
MTV Networks Asia has entered Cambodia’s
telecommunications market via an experimental licensing arrangement with
local telecom operator Cambodia Advance Communications.
The license, which will trade in Cambodia under
the brand name of qb, will make mobile video content and high-speed mobile
internet access available in the country for the first time.
“‘We are very excited to partner
with CADCOMMS on this mobile licensing deal because they are the first telco that
provides 3G networks in Cambodia and this allows subscribers to watch MTV and
Nickelodeon content in very high quality on their mobile phones,” Robert Kim,
MTV Asia’s senior director for digital media, said in a statement.
Subscribers to the new service
will receive streaming access to MTV and Nickelodeon content as well as the
first high-speed mobile internet access in Cambodia.
“Cambodia has suddenly become a
trendsetter in the mobile industry,” said Morten Eriksen, chief executive of
“We are currently offering
downloadable music and karaoke video clips together with live TV streaming from
our very advanced mobile portal, actually the first of its kind in the whole of
Asia,” he said
But qb – pronounced “cube” – will
not be offering a live video call service, which is currently banned in Cambodia.
Prime Minister Hun Sen announced a
ten-year ban on 3G video call applications in May 2006, citing fears that the
technology would give Cambodians mobile access to online pornography and other
The ban, followed by the outlawing
of adultery and the vetoing of the first “Miss Cambodia”
beauty pageant, was part of a government-led crusade to safeguard Cambodia’s
social morality from the influences of new technology.
“‘Being a new entrant, qb has been
affected by the ban, but mostly from a marketing point of view,” said Eriksen.
“I would emphasize that we are fully dedicated to
support the Royal Government of Cambodia in the ban of the live video call
service and we are therefore currently not offering this service.”
The qb mobile network was
officially opened by Minister of Posts and Telecommunications So Khun, Eriksen
and CADCOMMS founder Narith Chhim on March 14.
The public launch took place the following night at a free
concert at the Olympic Stadium, featuring Grammy-nominated US star Stacie
Orrico and a line-up of local pop artists.