Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Local ISP claims licence overlap is causing losses

Local ISP claims licence overlap is causing losses

Local ISP claims licence overlap is causing losses

130110 07
A motorist passes by an office of the local internet service provider Ezecom in Phnom Penh yesterday. Photograph: Vireak Mai/Phnom Penh Post

At least one internet service provider in Cambodia still claims to have overlapping frequencies, which means losses for the affected company MekongNet.

The company’s chief executive, Sok Channda, reported that the internet service provider can’t use the frequencies that were supposed to cover the WiMAX service, whereby the internet can be accessed wirelessly at long range.

Besides using WiMAX, the licences also allow calls, internet access and other data services.

According to Ken Chanthan, chairman of the Information and Communication Technology Association of Cambodia and CEO and chairman of the Ken Group, there is a lack of telecom regulation in Cambodia, and there isn’t a clear rule concerning the issuing of licences for the frequencies.

“I think the private sector, especially the telecoms operators themselves should push the telecoms law,” he said.

In September 2012, the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications launched the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia as a separate entity.

A ministry release stated: “The establishment of the Telecom Regulator of Cambodia will improve the telecom sector’s present management system by separating the functional roles of the Ministry of Post and Telecom.”

It is the first independent regulator for the telecommunications sector in Cambodia, but its opportunities to control the sector will be limited because there is no overarching law governing the telecommunications sector in Cambodia, although a draft law exists.

According to a Royal Decree from March of last year, the Telecom Regulator of Cambodia will, above all, “implement policy of the telecommunications sector, which shall be developed by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications” and “urge to have an appropriate telecommunications sector structure”.

“So far, the establishment of the Telecom Regulator of Cambodia has brought no changes,” Channda told the Post. Instead, the company’s complaints to the ministry remained unanswered.

Ek Vandy, secretary of state of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, said yesterday that the ministry has never received any complaints from internet service providers.

“We have never issued overlapping licences, so we never got complaints from companies,” he said. “If there were a problem, they would blame us, saying that we don’t work. We would have dealt with it, if we would have issued overlapping licences, but we did not,” Vandy told the Post yesterday.

Channda, however, said: “We invested $2 million in the WiMAX services, but due to the overlapping frequencies we can’t run the service. That means a loss for us. We don’t see any hope anymore to solve this problem.”

In March 2011, Emaxx Telecom reported similar problems. While it planned to have 75 WiMAX towers by the end of the year, its frequency range had already been claimed by other internet service providers.

Chief Operations Officer Frank May told the Post in 2011 that Emaxx’s parent company, Digital Star, had one of the three 4G licences awarded in Cambodia, adding the other two had gone to Viettel and Russian firm Altech.

Whether the company has since solved the problem remained unclear yesterday because the management of Emaxx could not be reached for comment.

According to Inge Olde Rikkert, internet service provider Ezecom’s marketing manager, Ezecom has not been affected by the overlapping claims.

“This is not an issue that affects or has affected Ezecom,” she said.  

In 2010, seven companies affected by licensing of the 2.5GHz to 2.7GHz range wrote a joint letter to the Prime Minister over the issue.

The Cambodian market is shared by 40 internet service providers.

 

 

To contact the reporters on this story:

Sarah Thust at [email protected]

Anne Renzenbrink at [email protected]

Seun Son at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the