Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Nordic telecom firm buys Applifone

Nordic telecom firm buys Applifone

Nordic telecom firm buys Applifone

CAMBODIA'S fourth-largest mobile phone operator, Applifone, has been taken over by Scandinavian telecoms giant TeliaSonera. The company is also buying 80 percent of Nepal's Spice Nepal in a $488 million deal.

"One of our top priorities is to grow our business in [Asia]...Nepal and Cambodia have a combined population of 43 million, low mobile penetration and growing economies," said Lars Nyberg, president and CEO of TeliaSonera, in a statement.

Applifone has more than 97,000 subscribers, a 3 percent market share as of August 2008.

TeliaSonera has expanded into developing markets in recent years, in part due to slow growth at home. The company is embroiled in a dispute with Russian-controlled Altimo over control of Turkish operator Turkcell.

While fixed-line penetration has remained largely static since 1995, mobile phone use has exploded, with an estimated 2.5 million subscribers now using one or more of the five mobile providers in Cambodia and the hand phone an essential accessory for urban dwellers.

As Cambodia's mobile subscriber base is expected to rapidly expand, competition is heating up, and some experts predict an industry shakeout ahead, particularly as the new international entrants into the market take aim at industry leader Mobitel.

Mobitel, which provides the 012, 092 and 017 exchanges, controls the largest share of the market, with more than 1.5 million subscribers today.

MOST VIEWED

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Chinese influx pushing locals, Westerners out of Preah Sihanouk

    Some within the Kingdom’s tourism industry have speculated that the recent influx of Chinese visitors may hinder domestic tourism as the price of accommodations in the coastal city of Sihanoukville continues to rise. Preah Sihanouk province, which has become a hotbed for Chinese investment

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • ‘Dire consequences’ from sanctions, warns AmCham

    American businesspeople in Cambodia have warned that any sanction against the Kingdom would have “dire consequences” that could push Cambodia even further into the arms of China. In a letter to US senators and representatives dated Monday, the American Chamber of Commerce Cambodia (AmCham) said