THE Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPTC) has relinquished its 30 per cent
interest in Cambodia Samart Communication, allowing it to be fully taken over by
Thailand's Samart Corp.
Secretary of State So Khun and Samart's Chief Executive Char-oenrath Vilailuck inked
a 25-year extension contract last week.
"By doing this, we allow Samart to expand their network nationwide rather than
in selected provinces," So Khun said, adding that in the near future Samart
will introduce global system mobile (GSM).
From now, Cambodia Samart will operate for 32 years instead of its original 10 year
contract awarded in 1992. Under the old accord, MPTC had a 30 percent in Cambodia
Khun said that the new agreement required Cambodia Samart to pay to Cambodia 7 per
cent of its gross revenue for the first three years, 12 percent for the following
three years and 15 percent until the contract expires. The contract was renewable,
pending discussion between MPTC and the company, he said.
The company has invested $15 million since 1992 and intends spending a further $20
million over the next year on equipment and improving the system.
It said its plans included leasing headquarters in Phnom Penh and changing from satellite
to microwave transmission to improve communication capacity and increase voice transmission
in Kompong Som, Siem Reap and Battambang provinces.
In addition to the three provinces, Samart mobile phones also operates in Kompong
Cham and the company is considering hooking Kampot and Koh Kong provinces by late
June and July. Two more base stations in Svay Rieng and Takeo will be added.
Khun said that the Thai-own company currently had nearly 10,000 subscribers or 65
percent of the Cambodian hand-phone market.