Increased availability of 3G and 4G LTE (long-term evolution) networks looks set to rapidly increase internet penetration across the Kingdom, according to one of the country’s most reliable telecommunications companies. And as a result the number of internet users could top five million by the end of 2015.
Beeline, which is a subsidiary of 100 per cent Khmer-owned parent company Sotelco, says that the operator’s planned launch of a nationwide 3G network and 4G LTE services in Phnom Penh at the end of 2014 could add a further 500,000 to the country’s internet demographic.
The operator says that unlike other company’s offerings, Beeline’s 4G service will be the more advanced 4G LTE. Also, unlike other operators’ networks, Beeline’s 4G LTE network will not be confined to certain “hotspots” in Phnom Penh but will be widely available throughout the capital.
“Beeline’s 4G LTE will be like nothing the Cambodia consumer has ever seen before,” Beeline owner Neak Okhna Huot Vanthan says. “Download speeds could be three to four times what they are now, and they will be available all over Phnom Penh instead of just in certain buildings as they are now. We think this higher speed and wider availability will drive internet growth quite considerably.”
Beeline says that the company’s network will be the most advanced 4G LTE service of its kind in Cambodia capable of offering speeds between 25 and 30 megabits per second.
According to industry experts, 4G LTE download speeds can reach up to 150 megabits per second (Mbps). Older 3G networks can only support up to 14 Mbps.
Beeline, which until now has been concentrating on developing the country’s most advanced voice network, is expected to roll out the nationwide 3G network in the fourth quarter this year. The company will then roll out the new 4G LTE network in Phnom Penh by the end of 2014.
In anticipation of the launch of 3G and 4G LTE services, Beeline has recently inked a deal with Power-All Networks, a subsidiary of global electronics giant Foxconn. The deal will enable Beeline subscribers, as well as visiting businessmen and travellers, to experience premium 4G LTE services while they are in Cambodia and put Beeline in connection with Asean data hubs.
“By investing in 4G LTE and signing deals with some of the world’s biggest and best suppliers, Beeline is ensuring that Cambodia is keeping up – and even surpassing – the country’s neighbours,” adds Vanthan. “Our deal with Foxconn ensures that we are part of the global giant’s international offerings to those roaming on other networks. It also allows Beeline to offer 4G premium service to Cambodian businessmen and others who travel.”
According to the company, interest in Beeline’s services in the provinces has more than doubled since Sotelco owner Vathan made the announcement about 3G and 4G LTE in the media in April.
Recently, Beeline unveiled a new slogan in preparation for the operator’s planned launch of 3G and 4G LTE services later in the year. The company has replaced the iconic tagline “Live on the Bright Side” with the new slogan “Keeping It Real”.
The company believes that faster download speeds will have advantages for companies on the fringes of the telecommunications industry too.
“Television and gaming will become even more popular than they are now,” adds Vanthan. “Having more 3G and 4G LTE will lead to an increased demand for content and social media content so the entertainment and other industries will also benefit.”
Beeline’s 3G service is expected to be available nationwide from the fourth quarter and 4G LTE is expected to be available in Phnom Penh by the end of 2014.