Mobile phone users in Cambodia lauded the Telecommunications Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) for ordering mobile phone providers CamGSM Co Ltd (Cellcard) and Viettel (Cambodia) Pte Ltd (MetFone) to immediately stop harassing subscribers with calls advertising value-added services (VAS) made through four-digit short codes not authorised by the watchdog.
In two separate letters signed by TRC director Thong Chenda on July 23, the regulator linked the short codes 2828, 8192, 8888, 9191, 9292, 8899, 8686, 2626, 2929 and 9998 used in the operations to Cellcard, and 6236, 6688, 6160, 6388, 1772 and 1414 to MetFone.
The TRC stressed the nuisance caused by these unsolicited pre-registration services, describing them as disorder in the telecoms sector.
Failure to comply with this order will result in the “freezing of all requests of the company”, and other strict action, in accordance with Articles 69 and 78 of the Law on Telecommunications, the TRC warned.
The warning was met with an overwhelming chorus of support on the TRC’s Facebook page.
One netizen who goes by the username Rathana Phin said: “I used both MetFone and Cellcard, and they did the same thing. These kinds of ads are very annoying and interfere with the customers’ private affairs and personal space. Companies, be respectful. Unless you yourself have received such repeat calls, you won’t understand how irritating that is.”
Another netizen using the moniker Chanthol Sou said he had been waiting a long time for punitive action from the authorities as the VAS calls kept coming.
“I have been waiting for this time for a long time, because of all these daily interruptions from these companies’ four-digit numbers. Thank you [TRC] for taking action,” he said.
There are currently seven mobile and fixed service providers operating in the Kingdom, according to TRC.
The number of active mobile phone subscriptions in the Kingdom was 20,816,616 as of the end of April, up 1.64 per cent from 20,481,051 at the end of May 2020, the latest data from the TRC show.
At the same time, the number of landline and fixed-line subscriptions numbered just 42,577 as of end-April, down 18.87 per cent from 52,480 at end-May 2020.