The Kingdom’s leading mobile operator, Smart Axiata Co Ltd, announced on Monday that it had begun 5G trials in partnership with Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and may launch the mobile network later this year.
Smart Axiata CEO Thomas Hundt said the firm will continue to invest hundreds of millions of dollars in the technology.
He said Monday’s announcement is the latest in a busy year for Smart – introducing many new innovative services alongside massive network investments.
“Our mission is to enrich the lives of millions of Cambodians through world-class networks and exceptional digital experiences.
“We will continue investing massively to improve our existing 4.5G mobile broadband connectivity across the Kingdom while in parallel preparing for the next generation of mobile networks – 5G,” he said.
Huawei Wireless Network chief technology officer Aaron Wang said 5G will become the most important factor in ICT transformation and open collaboration across industries.
“We are talking about digital Cambodia and 5G is exactly the enabler to achieve this target,” he said, adding that Huawei will always work together with Cambodia and Smart, to build a fully connected “Intelligent Cambodia”.
“Cambodia is a leading country that deployed 4G early in Southeast Asia. In the 5G era, I hope Cambodia will once again be a leading country,” he said.
Telecom Regulator of Cambodia executive director Mao Chakrya said this is just the first step of the trials.
“Now we will merely let the company hold their trials because we want to know how it works, and what effects it will have on things such as download speeds and network coverage,” said Chakrya.
However, Chakrya said he is not sure when the government will officially authorise the use of 5G, as it is currently boosting 4G broadband service coverage across the country.
“The time will come when they allow the use of 5G technology, but not immediately,” he said.
The government in April signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Chinese tech giant Huawei to build a 5G network in the Kingdom.
The MoU was signed between representatives of Huawei and Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications secretary of state Sok Puthivuth in Beijing during Prime Minister Hun Sen’s visit.