Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Towers to improve Angkor Wat's cell coverage, discreetly

Towers to improve Angkor Wat's cell coverage, discreetly

People walk through the grounds of Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat last year.
People walk through the grounds of Siem Reap’s Angkor Wat last year. Vireak Mai

Towers to improve Angkor Wat's cell coverage, discreetly

Visitors to Cambodia’s premiere tourist destination, Angkor Wat, can expect better mobile network coverage come June, after Apsara Authority signed an agreement with local telecom services firm Camtowerlink Communications to install six camouflaged mobile towers across the vast temple site.

Designed to resemble trees, the towers will be used to help local mobile providers provide better connection to visitors, making it more convenient for tourists, said Long Kosal, director of communication at Apsara Authority.

He said it was the first time that Apsara has allowed telecommunication towers inside the Angkor-era temple complex, and the authority has been careful to minimise their visual and environmental impact.

“We have studied other companies and we selected this company because they have the capacity to provide good technology, and most importantly it will not impact the site’s heritage and environment,” Kosal said.

Kosal added that tourists were getting little or no mobile coverage in certain areas of the archaeological park, which resulted in the park’s administrative body taking the decision to get camouflaged towers.

“This is first time a memorandum of understanding for installing artificial antennas has been signed to provide better facilities and convenience for tourists to better use their phones for communication,” he said.

Camtowerlink CEO Yusoff Zamri said installation of the towers has already begun and will be completed by June this year. The camouflaged towers, he said, would provide other mobile service providers the option of placing their base stations on them for a fee.

“We are talking to mobile providers and they want to place their equipment with us,” he said. “I foresee four to five providers who would want to place their equipment in the Apsara complex.”

Im Vutha, director of regulation and dispute unit at Telecom Regulator of Cambodia, said following the completion of the six towers, there were plans to add 18 more antennas.

“The company has the expertise of installing antennae and telecom infrastructure” he said, “When installation of the antennas is complete, the operators can negotiate their terms of business with Camtowerlink.”

More than 2.1 million foreign tourists visited the Angkor Wat temples near Siem Reap last year, bringing in $60 million in ticket sales, according to the Apsara Authority. The temples also attract large numbers of domestic tourists.

MOST VIEWED

  • Stock photo agencies cash in on Khmer Rouge tragedy
    Stock-photo companies selling images from S-21 raises ethics concerns

    A woman with short-cropped hair stares directly into the camera, her head cocked slightly to the side. On her lap is a sleeping infant just barely in the frame. The woman was the wife of a Khmer Rouge officer who fell out of favour, and

  • Defence Ministry denies weapons in smuggling case came from Cambodia

    After a Thai national was arrested last week for allegedly smuggling guns from Cambodia to Thailand, Cambodia's Defence Ministry has claimed the weapons seized during the arrest are not used in Cambodia, despite the fact that both types of rifle seized are commonly found in

  • Prime Minister: Take back islands from inactive developers

    The government will “take back” land on roughly 30 islands from private companies that have not made progress on planned developments, Prime Minister Hun Sen said in a speech on Monday that also targeted land-grabbing villagers and idle provincial governors. Speaking at the inauguration of the

  • Land on capital’s riverfront is opened up for investment

    The government has signed off on a proposal to designate more than 9 hectares of land along Phnom Penh’s riverfront as state-private land, opening it up for private investment or long-term leasing. The 9.25-hectare stretch of riverfront from the capital’s Night Market to the