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Digi set to launch phone services

Digi set to launch phone services

DTV Star Chief Marketing Officer Maria Teplukhina and Chief Executive Officer Andrey Shin.

Broadband service provider also plans to offer cable television in a bid to crack open the ultra competitive internet market in Phnom Penh through a ‘triple play’ bundled offering.

BROADBAND service provider DTV Star is set to bring the second component of its “triple play” communications offering to the Phnom Penh market at the start of next month with the launch of internet protocol (IP) telephone services.

Digi will bundle the telephone services with its broadband internet offerings from October 1 and add cable television services later this year or early next when testing and negotiations with content providers are completed, Chief Marketing Officer Maria Teplukhina said.

The company has been offering broadband internet services under its Digi brand since December last year but had not yet tried to crack the residential market.

“Until this moment we have been working with corporate clients but the retail market is our core market and we have prepared very attractive, low cost packages for residential clients,” Teplukhina said. “Telephony and internet is ready, and TV is coming soon.”

Chief Executive Officer Andrey Shin acknowledged the tough competition in the broadband market in Phnom Penh, particularly given low internet penetration rates and the presence of around 30 licensed internet service providers, but said the bundling of services through a single connection would give it the edge.

“We understand that to make an attractive proposal for residential clients we need to offer more than only the internet,” he said. “We are focusing our service offering around a triple play of broadband internet, telephone and TV services.”

The ability to access all three services through one company – and one fibre optic connection – is an attractive proposition for customers, Shin said, although they would be able to pick and choose the services they subscribed too. A wide range of pricing and bandwidth options were available, with data speeds up to 100 Megabits per second (mbps) available within the Digi network.

Broadband packages with unlimited downloads ranged from US$38 for a 64 Kilobits per second connection (kbps) up to $238 for a 512 kbps offering. Capped data offerings started at $15 per month with download speeds up to 1 mbps

Around 50 percent of households in Phnom Penh were within reach of the company’s fibre optic network, which it has been building since last year, Teplukhina said. The company was continuing to develop the network, and will eventually extend it to the rest of the country, with a long-term goal of capturing 20 percent of households. “Our final goal is to build a vast network and provide all kinds of services over it,” she said.

Negotiations with television channels were continuing and the company planned to offer at least 100 channels, though Shin said a timetable for launch had not yet been finalised.

Its main competitors are Taiwan-owned Cambodian Cable Television (CCTV), which has been in operation since 1995, and new entrant Phnom Penh Cable Television (PPCTV), which bundles digital cable television with broadband internet but does not offer telephone services.

DTV Star is owned by investors from Kazahkstan, including Visor Group, the owner of Advanced Bank of Asia.


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