Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Metfone to use Huawei’s 5G technology for network

Metfone to use Huawei’s 5G technology for network

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Telecom firm Metfone has confirmed that it will use Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s 5G network technology in the Kingdom. Heng Chivoan

Metfone to use Huawei’s 5G technology for network

Cambodian telecom firm Metfone on Tuesday confirmed that it plans to use Huawei Technologies Co Ltd’s 5G network technology in the Kingdom, despite its parent firm refusing to work with the Chinese tech powerhouse in Vietnam.

Metfone is a subsidiary of Viettel Group, Vietnam’s largest mobile carrier which is wholly owned by the country’s Ministry of Defence.

During an interview at the company’s headquarters in Hanoi, Viettel CEO Le Dang Dung said the firm will not work with Huawei for its 5G network in Vietnam, Bloomberg News reported on Monday.

Dung said it will deploy Ericsson AB’s equipment in Hanoi and Nokia Oyj’s technology in Ho Chi Minh City.

He said Viettel will use 5G chipsets from Qualcomm Inc and another US company.

“We are not going to work with Huawei right now. It’s a bit sensitive with Huawei now.

“There were reports that it’s not safe to use Huawei. So Viettel’s stance is that, given all this information, we should just go with the safer ones. So we choose Nokia and Ericsson from Europe,” Dung told Bloomberg.

The move comes as Vietnam aims to be the first Asean nation to provide a 5G network – without Huawei’s assistance.

But in Cambodia Metfone maintains that it will use Huawei’s technology as usual, a company senior marketing officer, who asked not to be named, said.

He told The Post on Tuesday that he does not know if Viettel’s decision will be applied to all of its operations abroad.

However, he said Metfone plans to launch its 5G trials in partnership with Huawei next month.

“Metfone will begin 5G trials using Huawei’s technologies on September 5,” he said.

Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) spokesman Im Vutha said Cambodia is a free market, thus the firms are not barred from working together.

“We, Cambodia, do not bar any sources of technology, it is dependent on the operators themselves to choose their technology,” he said, adding that Huawei’s devices are rising in popularity among Cambodians, and are third after Apple and Samsung.

“We are a consumer country – we are not producers, so the fight between producer countries is none of our business,” he said.

The Kingdom’s leading mobile operator, Smart Axiata Co Ltd, announced last month that it had begun 5G trials in partnership with Huawei and may launch its mobile network later this year.

Vietnam is quietly siding with the Trump administration, which has barred Huawei from buying US technology over national-security concerns.

The country’s decision to shun Huawei has made it an outlier in Southeast Asia, as other countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Cambodia are open to deploying Huawei’s technology.

The Cambodian government in April signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Huawei to build a 5G network in the Kingdom.


  • Ministry orders all schools, public and private, to close for SEA Games

    From April 20 to May 18, all public and private educational institutions will be closed to maintain order and support Cambodia's hosting of the 32nd SEA Games and 12th ASEAN Para Games, said a directive from the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport. Cambodia will host the

  • Almost 9K tourists see equinox sunrise at Angkor Wat

    Nearly 9,000 visitors – including 2,226 international tourists – gathered at Angkor Wat on March 21 to view the spring equinox sunrise, according to a senior official of the Siem Reap provinical tourism department. Ngov Seng Kak, director of the department, said a total of 8,726 people visited Angkor Wat to

  • Angkor Beer strengthens national pride with golden new look and fresher taste

    Angkor Beer – the "Gold of Angkor" – has a new look, one that is more stylish and carries a premium appeal, as well as a fresher taste and smoother flavour, making it the perfect choice for any gathering. Angkor Beer recently launched its new design, one

  • Newest horror film showcases unique Khmer culture, identity

    At first glance, the trailer to new horror sensation The Ritual: Black Nun looks like a western-produced feature film. As the story reveals itself to the viewers, it becomes clearer that this is a Khmer film, with a strong Cambodian identity and close links to

  • Water supply authority assures public shortages over early ‘24

    The Phnom Penh Water Supply Authority (PPWSA) asked for understanding from Phnom Penh residents in some communes where water pressure is weak. They assured residents that all supply issues will be resolved by early 2024, but have suggested that residents use water sparingly in the meantime.

  • Khmer ballet documentary debuts April 1

    A new documentary, The Perfect Motion, or Tep Hattha in Khmer, will premiere to the public on April 1. The documentary film follows two intertwined storylines: the creation of a show called Metamorphosis by the late Princess Norodom Buppha Devi (her very last production) and the