Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Telecom Ministry launches regulator

Telecom Ministry launches regulator

Telecom Ministry launches regulator

20120922_07
A man talks on the phone at a Hello phone-operator stand. Photograph: Hong Menea/Phnom Penh Post

The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications officially launched the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) yesterday in an attempt to establish laws to control, and resolve conflicts among, telecoms operators.

The move is likely to come as a relief to the eight telecom operators in Cambodia, because fierce competition has caused lower profits for all.

Post and Telecommunications Minister So Khun said the TRC’s establishment supported other regulations for managing  conflicts among mobile network operators (MNOs).

Industry experts said forced consolidation, under which operators would be told by a certain date that only a lesser number of MNOs would be allowed, could take place, forcing some industry players to merge.

Industry players include Mobitel, operating under the Cellcard brand, Mfone, Smart Mobile, Hello, EXCELL, QB, Metfone and Beeline.  With a variety of technologies and infrastructure, differing in both urban and rural coverage, consolidation of operators is a matchmaking exercise likely to take place in the coming months.

The establishment of a regulator is seen as good news for existing MNOs because instead of all of them losing money in what has been described as “a game of chicken” and “waiting for rival operators to flinch”, there will be a chance for smaller numbers of operators to make a profit.

Regulation of how much telecommunications operators can give away in terms of free minutes is expected, experts say.

So Khun said the creation of the TRC had been partly the result of demands by Japanese officials who provided nearly US$30 million in loans for the extension of about 400 kilometres of optical cables to the Kingdom’s southwestern provinces.

Cambodia had more than 20,000 kilometres of optical cable, and mobile phone service covered more than 90 per cent of the country, So Khun said.

“Optical cables are for sending the voice. When we speak, the sound wave is converted into electrical  impulses and transmitted through the cable,” he said.

“TRC will enforce laws that relate to the use of radio frequencies, monitoring and providing the licences and resolving conflict between licenses.”

As well as eight MNOs, Cambodia  has 40 internet service providers.

TRC chairman Moa Chakrya said  the establishment of the body had shifted roles previously under the ministry’s jurisdiction.

“The TRC aims to benefit operators and the users through greater fairness and transparency,” he said.

“We want to reform for the better.  This means we will manage other regulations and what’s important to regulate.”

To contact the reporters on this story: Rann Reuy at [email protected]
Stuart Alan Becker at [email protected]

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor lifetime pass, special Siem Reap travel offers planned

    The Ministry of Tourism plans to introduce a convenient, single lifetime pass for foreign travellers to visit Angkor Archaeological Park and potentially other areas. The move is designed to stimulate tourism to the culturally rich province of Siem Reap as the start of the “Visit

  • Bosba: The first Khmer woman composer from UK’s Cambridge

    Bosba Panh is just 25 years old, but she’s already accomplished some impressive milestones for herself and the Kingdom. On July 24, she graduated with a Master’s degree from the University of Cambridge as the first Khmer woman composer and Khmer music graduate ever at

  • ‘Golden’ Angkor Wat likely due to natural phenomenon: ANA

    Pictures and video clips of the Angkor Wat temple, its spires seemingly coated in gold, have been shared tens of thousands of times on social media, prompting a sense of wonder among those who have seen them. Hong Sam Ath, who took the pictures and

  • Pailin longan winery tries to break through to the big time

    Longan aren’t quite as glamorous as some fruits. They don’t have the star-power of mangos or generate the excitement of a pricey seasonal niche fruit like the pungent durian. Unlike bananas or oranges, which are known and loved everywhere, longan remains a decidedly

  • Debt restructuring over, time to tackle rising NPL ratio

    The Cambodian banking system has just completed a 26-month debt restructuring exercise where scores of loan accounts were revised, classified and provisioned as the rate of non-performing loans inched up, sparking a slight credit risk unease Implemented in April 2020, the Covid-19 debt restructuring measures came

  • Koh Slaket studio resort brings culture with style

    Davitra (Cambodia) Co Ltd’s multi-million-dollar 13ha Koh Slaket studio-cum-resort just east of the capital was inaugurated in the first phase on August 6, providing national and international tourists with a new travel option and job opportunities for locals. The man-made cultural and scenic lakefront getaway