Who are they?
Genusys Cambodia: www.genusyscambodia.com
Cambodian Broadband Technologies: www.cb.net.kh
What do they offer?
DSL and ADSL: Digital Subscriber Line or Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line systems work with a terrestrial phone line. ADSL is faster for downloads and more powerful than DSL.
Leased lines: Also called dedicated lines, because they connect two locations like a private line.
Wireless: Connects to the internet via a radio signal.
Dial-up: A form of internet access through a telephone line. You need a basic modem to connect with an ISP which often provides pre-paid cards. Don’t expect fast downloads.
Wi-Fi: A wireless technology that requires a router into the home or workplace. Several computers may have access to the internet but the capacity of the router is limited.
Wi-Max: World Interoperability for Microwaves Access is also based on wireless technology. It is essentially a wider-reaching, more powerful Wi-Fi.
VoIP: Voice over Internet Protocol is a cheap way of making phone calls via the internet.
How to choose?
You have to consider your needs and it is advisable to make comparisons among different providers.
How much to spend?
First, decide how much you can afford to spend each month. Then determine the cost of installation, equipment and deposit fees and take them into account in deciding your needs. For example, if you want a leased line you will be liable for an expensive installation fee.
Ensure you have the equipment to support the system you want; for ADSL you will need a phone line.
A final consideration: if you are an avid net surfer, make sure you are aware of the excess use charges.
Monitoring your usage:
You have a range of options. PPCTV provides access to a personal account where you can check your usage at any time. Of the ISPs with a pre-paid service, Camintel sells a $10 card, which allows you to surf the net for four-and-a-half hours during the day or nine hours at night.
What kind of connection do you need?
You will have to consider if you need a connection only for emails or if you want to surf the net for hours and download all your favourite music. Camnet offers 15 hours for $9 a month, which may be suitable for those just checking emails. Not good for serious surfers, however.
Companies might want to consider satellite broadband internet, which is available from Camnet for a minimum monthly fee of $385 for a 256/64 Kbps connection.
If you want to download movies, music or software, you will probably need a faster connection or an unlimited data transfer allowance. But remember, the more you want, the more you will pay.
When do you need access?
If you work during the day and won’t need to connect before 7pm, there are many ISPs offering attractive rates for night-time access.
Where do you live?
Camintel is licensed to provide services in the provinces. If you are a resident of Phnom Penh and want to use PPCTV’s fiber optic cable, connection costs could be prohibitively expensive if you live far from its terminal.
Citylink’s unlimited Wi-Max service will be available only in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. (Anne-Laure Porée)