Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Gov’t ‘50-50 with telecoms on rural mobile stations’

Gov’t ‘50-50 with telecoms on rural mobile stations’

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
An employee sorts mobile phone SIM cards last year at a shop in central Phnom Penh. The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has gone 50-50 in a deal with telecoms to being mobile service to rural areas. Pha Lina

Gov’t ‘50-50 with telecoms on rural mobile stations’

The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has begun using budget allocations from the Universal Service Obligation Fund (USOF) to build telecom infrastructure in remote areas of Cambodia where operators are less willing to expand, a USOF official has said.

Funds from the USOF are used by the government to go 50-50 with telecom operators to encourage them to enlarge their networks.

On Saturday, the Telecom Ministry and Smart Axiata announced the construction of a mobile base station in Kampong Chhnang province’s Taing Krasaing commune, splitting costs down the middle.

This is the third project that the ministry has backed with funds from the USOF. A similar strategy was used in collaboration with telecom firm Viettel to boost mobile infrastructure in Kampong Chhnang’s Kampong Leng district, as well as Koh Kong province’s Areng district.

Talk with experts

Department of Post and Telecommunications director-general and chairman of the USOF Tol Gnak said that the ministry has contributed funds to push for services in rural areas. This, he said, will reduce the gap between urban and rural Cambodians.

He said if there were no capital contribution from the ministry, companies would not put up capital to improve infrastructure in those areas.

“For many operators, remote areas don’t have enough economic potential to justify investments,” he said, adding that without help the projects would be costly and bring low returns.

Gnak did not specify the amount of money spent on each of the infrastructure projects.

The 2016 Telecom Law and subsequent sub-decrees set up two related funds – the Capacity Building Research and Development Fund (CBRD) and the USOF.

They are meant to promote the development of infrastructure and services in rural areas and foster new talent in the industry. The USOF requires that telecom operators contribute two percent of their gross annual income.

MOST VIEWED

  • Hungarian exposes 90 to Covid in Siem Reap

    The Ministry of Health has discovered 90 people who have been exposed directly or indirectly to a Hungarian man infected with Covid-19. They all are required to quarantine at home and the hospital. The ministry is searching for other affected people. Among the 90, one is the

  • PM warns of ‘new Cold War’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen said the possibility of a so-called new Cold War has become a significant concern and that all countries have to reject outright, any attempt to allow history to tragically repeat itself. He made the remarks in a speech during 75th Session

  • PM: West unfair to Cambodia

    Prime Minister Hun Sen released a message celebrating the International Day of Peace on Monday, saying that some major powers and western countries had been systemically cooperating to put political pressure on Cambodia as they did in the 1970s and 1980s. Hun Sen said pressuring

  • ‘Bad news is an investor’s best friend’ – unlocking investment potential in Cambodia

    It is time to shop. Economic woes provide good pickings for investors if they know where to look The poem If, written by English Nobel laureate poet and novelist Rudyard Kipling for his son circa 1895, is widely perceived as fatherly advice for John who would

  • Cambodia, CRF win rice battle in EU Court

    The European General Court has rejected the European Commission’s (EC) request to reject a complaint submitted by Cambodia and the Cambodian Rice Federation (CRF) regarding the EU’s reintroduction of tariffs on Indica rice exports from Cambodia. A court order uploaded to the European

  • PM requests Russia’s Covid vaccine

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has requested that Russia provide Cambodia with its Covid-19 vaccine after the former announced it planned on mass vaccinating its population next month. The request came on Thursday through the prime minister’s Facebook page as he met with Anatoly Borovik,