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

  • WHO: Covid in Cambodia goes into new phase

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) in Cambodia said that Cambodia has reached a new phase of the pandemic with “decreasing case numbers, high vaccination coverage and a more transmissible circulating variant threatening a hidden surge”. In a press release on September 6, the WHO said that

  • Purging Sihanoukville’s past with a new masterplan

    Amid illicit activities, haphazard development and abandoned projects, the coastal city of Sihanouk province needs a reset to move forward. A new masterplan might be the answer to shake off its seemingly mucky image to become the Shenzhen of the south Gun toting, shootouts, police

  • 'Pursue your goals, reach out to me': Young diplomat tapped as envoy to South Korea

    Chring Botum Rangsay was a secretary of state at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation before being designated as the new Cambodian ambassador to South Korea. According to her official CV published on the foreign ministry’s website, she started her first government

  • International air visitor arrivals dip 93%

    The number of foreign tourists entering Cambodia through the Kingdom’s three international airports witnessed a sharp 92.5 per cent year-on-year decline in the first seven months of this year, according to the Ministry of Tourism. The airports handled 51,729 international tourists in the January-July period versus

  • School reopening ‘offers model for other sectors’

    World Health Organisation (WHO) representative to Cambodia Li Ailan said school reopening process should be used as a role model for reopening other sectors currently mothballed by the Covid-19 pandemic. Li strongly supports the government’s decision to reopen schools, saying it is a decision

  • Covid jab drive for 6-11 age group to begin Sept 17

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has permitted Covid-19 vaccinations for over 1.8 million children aged 6-11 across the country from September 17 in order for them to return to school after a long hiatus. Hun Sen also hinted that vaccinations for the 3-6 age group will follow in