R OYAL Millicom Co Ltd was granted a license to operate a cellular phone network on
May 10 and plans to start calling on potential customers later this year.
The joint venture between the Luxembourg-based Millicom International Cellular and
the Royal Group of Companies Ltd will be Cambodia's fourth mobile phone network but
the first to offer the global system mobile (GSM).
$60 million will be initially invested, said Phil Dunglinson, Millicom regional business
manager Asia. The network should be operating by the end of the year in Phnom Penh,
and to the rest of the country some time later.
GSM offers roaming, he said, which enables the customers to use the same phone while
traveling in other countries.
For example, if a customer from Cambodia is in Vietnam and someone calls from Thailand
the call will still go through. The Royal Millicom customer pays for the long distance
charge from Cambodia to where they are.
The caller will be charged for the call from Thailand to Cambodia and the Royal Millicom
customer will pay for the long distance charge from Cambodia to Vietnam.
"Good communications are important for businesses considering investing in Cambodia
and GSM will help the country," Meng Kith, the chairman and CEO of Royal Group
of Companies said.
He said other advantages included better speech quality and protection from eavesdroppers.
There was a market for a new mobile phone system, Meng Kith said, adding they will
concentrate on customer service, reliability and performance. He said the connection
fee, administration and call charges have not yet been set but will be competitive.