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Govt sells Samart stake

Govt sells Samart stake

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

Samart.

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.

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