Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Telecoms in Cambodia

Telecoms in Cambodia

Content image - Phnom Penh Post

Telecoms in Cambodia

Talk to anyone in Cambodia’s telecommunications service provider (TSP) industry and they’ll admit that it has been a fierce fight to get to where they are now.

Cambodia, like many less developed countries, leapfrogged to mobile communications because the fixed-line communications network was so poor. Development has been rapid. As recently as 2008 the Post reported mobile penetration of around 18 per cent. Today, according to independent analysts, make that 118 per cent – or perhaps even more.

In reality, the percentages and the numbers depend on who is counting. But, however they are counted, the number of mobile subscriptions add up to a number greater than the Kingdom’s population today. Estimates of SIM subscriptions put the total at 19 million to 20 million, while the population is estimated at around 15.3 million.

That does not mean that everybody in Cambodia is mobile-connected – or even less so that they all have smartphones – but it does mean that the majority of Cambodians have mobile devices (even if it is an old Nokia or Samsung, good only for calls and texting), and a certain percentage of the population have more than one device.

The race that is on now may not be – as some industry insiders put it, off the record – one to see who is “the last man standing”. But it is certainly a race towards consolidation, as increasing consumer demands for faster data speeds and great infrastructure investment. In total, the government of Cambodia has issued 11 mobile network licences. In 2012, there were eight players active in the market; today, in 2014, there are six. In this telecoms special, we talk to some of the players about their strategies for dealing with such a fiercely competitive market – in what, as Smart CEO Thomas Hundt succinctly put it, is ultimately a “numbers game”.

MOST VIEWED

  • Shanxi wins bid to build sections of new Siem Reap airport

    Shanxi Mechanization Construction Group recently won the bid to build two sections of the new Siem Reap Angkor International Airport project in Cambodia for 290 million yuan ($42.16 million). The existing Angkor International Airport in Siem Reap, 5km from the famous ancient temple complex and world tourism

  • Cambodia rejects call by UN for open invite

    Cambodia has rejected a UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) recommendation submitted by five countries at the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) calling on the Kingdom to issue a standing invitation to UN special procedures to visit at any time. The rejection was part of the 25 recommendations

  • Cambodia’s medical system is due for a check-up

    In Cambodia, many high-ranking government officials and public figures seek medical treatment abroad – including Prime Minister Hun Sen. With this in mind, it is not surprising that many locals also seem to often distrust local healthcare facilities. Cambodia has one of the fastest growing economies

  • VIP prison scrapped amid much criticism

    The Ministry of Interior announced on Thursday that Cambodia’s first privately run prison, which was to allow prisoners with enough money to upgrade to more comfortable cells, has been scrapped. Ministry spokesman Khieu Sopheak said studies had found that no other country in the