IN a report released Monday, the UN Development Programme (UNDP) said that Cambodia's mobile-phone market needed to be more closely regulated to improve services and prevent industry malpractice.
"The lack of a clear legal and regulatory framework in Cambodia, as well as the lack of an effective competition law could result in a range of problems," said the report which tracks the competitiveness of the Kingdom's economy.
UNDP noted that mobile-phone operators had blocked connectivity with rival networks, while the government had issued licences to different operators on the same signal, causing poor quality service.
"There appears to be no control over this in Cambodia," said the report.
Both the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications and Ministry of Information issue mobile-operator licences, which was partly responsible for the "problem", it added.
Cambodia already has nine mobile-phone providers following the launch of Beeline this month.
"You have to have regulation, it's the biggest thing in this sector ... the lack of regulation," UNDP Country Director Jo Scheuer said Monday at the launch of the report in Phnom Penh.
Brooks Evans, a UNDP economist, added: "[a] telecommunications law is under draft."
UNDP called for the implementation of the draft telecommunications law and the setting up of the Authority of Communications of Cambodia (ACC).
The government has worked on the draft legislation for some time, which would see the ACC set up as an industry regulator. At the early stages of the drafting process, the private sector was consulted for feedback, according to the Government-Private Sector Forum website.
The draft legislation is believed to have reached the Council of Ministers, but its latest progress is unclear. The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications was unavailable for further comment Monday.