The Association of Telecommunication Operators in Cambodia (ATOC) was officially launched on March 25 in a move to build a united voice in dealing with relevant stakeholders and the Royal Government of Cambodia for the development of the telecommunications industry.

ATOC held its first extraordinary general meeting the same day to start the operation of the association after it was duly registered with the Ministry of Interior in accordance with the laws of Cambodia and the statutes of ATOC, the association said in a press release received by The Post.

Launched by four founding members – Smart Axiata Co Ltd (Smart), CamGSM Co Ltd (Cellcard), Viettel (Cambodia) Pte Ltd (Metfone) and South East Asia Telecom (Cambodia) Co Ltd (SEATEL Cambodia) – ATOC says it is also open for other telecommunications operators to join.

“ATOC has its main objectives and goals to be a representative of its members in dealing with other actors in the private and public sectors, sharing and exchanging ideas and information, updating laws and regulations, raising and voicing concerns of its members, and advising and supporting its members for its business operation in Cambodia, and to contribute to further development of telecommunication industry,” according to the release.

ATOC president Ly Tayseng said the association will play a vital role in developing the industry in a sustainable way, working with relevant stakeholders, government ministries, Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) and other institutions in its pursuits.

“It is the first time that an association of telecommunications operators is established in Cambodia. This association plays a very important role in creating a united voice and point of reference for its members from the telecommunications industry at government and private sector forums, and acting as a platform for exchanging ideas and collaboration amongst its members and other stakeholders with a view to promote healthy and ethical competition and better service to consumers.

“The mission of ATOC is to promote the positioning of the telecommunications industry as the major enabling partner for the Royal Government of Cambodia in its endeavour of digitalising the national economy in line with the direction set by the Rectangular Strategy of the Royal Government of Cambodia,” Tayseng said.

As of May, the number of active mobile phone subscriptions across the Kingdom’s six operators was 20,481,051, down by 0.08 per cent year-on-year, the latest data from TRC show. This figure is the equivalent of 124.09 per cent of the total population.

At the same time, the number of landline and fixed-line subscriptions numbered just 52,480 as of the end of May, slipping 21.62 per cent from the end of May last year.

The number of mobile internet subscriptions across Cambodia’s seven providers also recorded a 2.36 per cent drop to 14,863,435, whereas fixed broadband internet subscriptions across the Kingdom’s 37 providers logged a 33.07 per cent climb to 249,132.