Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - SIM card ownership down by nearly 12%

SIM card ownership down by nearly 12%

A selection of SIM cards for sale at a Phnom Penh shop.
A selection of SIM cards for sale at a Phnom Penh shop. Sovan Philong

SIM card ownership down by nearly 12%

The number of mobile phone subscribers nationwide decreased by 11.5 per cent over the last year in what regulators are describing as a rebalancing after the market reached a saturation point, pushing well beyond 100 per cent penetration.

“Market demand was fully satisfied, as it reached its peak, so it was not surprising to see the number of subscribers decrease a bit,” Im Vutha, director of the regulation and dispute unit at the Telecom Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), said yesterday.

According to TRC data, Cambodia had a total of 19.2 million mobile phone subscribers as of the end of June, down from 21.7 million a year earlier. By comparison, the Cambodian population stands at about 15 million, an indication that many subscribers owned more than one line.

Vutha said the decline in subscribers was a message to the Kingdom’s six mobile operators that “now is the time to compete on quality and service”.

Chhim Sang Heng, manager of Hak Se Phone Shop in Phnom Penh, said he has seen a noticeable reduction in new SIM card sales, while the recent consolidation of telecom companies – including Metfone’s acquisition of Beeline last year – has resulted in thousands of cancelled lines.

In addition, whereas previously many mobile users owned SIM cards from several different companies, he said many appear to be sticking just to the three main players: Smart, Metfone and Cellcard.

“The trend of selling SIM cards has slowed down, while I’ve noticed that most subscribers use only the lines of two or three operators since the telecoms consolidated.”

While the number of mobile phone lines in Cambodia has declined, TRC data show internet use continues to grow, driven in a large part by increasing smartphone ownership.

Total fixed-line internet subscribers reached 88,000 as of the end of June, compared to about 77,000 a year earlier. Meanwhile, the number of mobile internet users rose to just under 7.2 million by the end of June, from about 6.2 million a year earlier.

Cambodia currently has six mobile operators, eight fixed-line operators, 33 ISPs and 18 licensed VoIP operators.

MOST VIEWED

  • Chikungunya hits 15 provinces, says gov’t

    Ministry of Health spokeswoman Or Vandine said on Thursday that the chikungunya outbreak in the Kingdom has spread to 15 provinces. Some 1,700 people are now suspected to have the disease. Vandine urged people to prevent its further spread by eliminating shelters for the Aedes aegypti mosquitoes

  • Body of woman killed in Bangkok returns

    The Cambodian embassy in Thailand is working to repatriate the body of a casino dealer who was shot dead in Bangkok on Monday night. Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation spokesman Kuy Kuong told The Post on Wednesday that officials are preparing paperwork to

  • Gov’t exempts visa A and B holders from Covid fees

    Airline passengers who are diplomats and officials of international organisations holding Type A and B visas for travel to Cambodia are exempted from paying Covid-19 testing fees, said the Ministry of Health in its latest adjustment of rules on Wednesday. Health Minister Mam Bun Heng

  • All inbound flights set to face added scrutiny

    Ministry of Health spokesperson Or Vandine said on Monday that the ministry is monitoring all inbound flights, after it was announced that only those from Malaysia and Indonesia will be temporarily cancelled from August 1. Vandine said on Monday that the two countries were identified as

  • Flights from Indonesia, Malaysia cancelled

    A Ministry of Health official has warned of the possibility of Covid-19 spreading through community transmission after the total infected cases in the Kingdom rose to 225. Ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told reporters on Saturday that the possibility of community transmission cannot be overlooked and that