The start to 2017 has been much like 2016 ended for Smart Axiata – winning awards and pioneering new developments in Cambodia’s growing ICT sector.
Smart launched “SmartStart: Young Innovator Program” on February 14th aiming to help young Cambodians turn innovative tech ideas into actual enterprises. In collaboration with four universities, undergraduates will apply to participate in the nine-month program that will see some of the country’s brightest young minds receive intensive training and mentorship. Five teams, from the initial group of 120 students, will then receive additional support and funding to develop their product.
At the launch, both Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS) and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications (MPTC) alike applauded the latest ICT initiative by Smart:
“On the eve of the 4th industrial revolution characterized by digitization, Cambodia’s young generation must equip themselves with ICT knowledge and skills. SmartStart will significantly contribute to MoEYS’ vision of developing a knowledge-based society within Cambodia,” said Minister of MoEYS, H.E. Dr. Hang Chuon Naron at the launch event.
H.E. Dr. Kan Channmeta, MPTC Secretary of State added, “One of MPTC’s Telecommunication and ICT Development (T-ICT) Policy strategic thrusts is strengthening the foundation of T-ICT Development through ICT literacy and also human resource development. I am pleased that Smart plays an active role in supporting this policy through various initiatives, including SmartStart.”
Smart continues its evolution towards being a digital lifestyle brand.It released SmartNas in January, an all-in-one self-care mobile app for Smart prepaid subscribers. Smart Music, which offers access to more than a million songs by Cambodian and international artists, was also made free for all Smart users. This provides a fantastic opportunity for people across the country to listen to their favorite music and discover new vibes.
As the industry’s 4G leader, Smart’s commitment of delivering super-fast and high quality mobile Internet service to all Cambodians is well unde way. Another 80 million USD is earmarked to be spent in 2017, dedicated to network expansions. To date, almost 70 percent of its more than 2,100 base stations across all 25 provinces are equipped with 4G and 100% with 3G. Smart’s latest push to further improve the 4G experience is evident with the rollout of VoLTE (Voice over LTE) aka HD Voice, giving Cambodians the opportunity for seamless HD voice call quality experience on Smart’s advanced 4G+ LTE network.
“As a key development partner of Cambodia, we take the investment and infrastructure side of the business seriously, in the same context we are fully committed to fulfilling our role in the society, including but not limited to being one of the largest contributors to national income by paying prescribed taxes, concession and regulatory fees in a full and timely manner as Smart always did in past. We realize there is huge potential to create a sustainable digital economy in Cambodia. As the year unfolds, Smart will undoubtedly press ahead, continuously playing a key role in developing Cambodia’s ICT sector and digital ecosystem,” said Smart CEO Thomas Hundt.
In February, Smart was recognised as having the fastest mobile network in Cambodia by Ookla, the global leader in broadband speed testing. Smart was also awarded both “Best Telecommunications Company Cambodia” and “Best CSR Company Cambodia 2017” by Global Banking & Finance Review for the third time in row. It is expected that many new, exciting projects and initiatives will continue to emerge over the course of the year.