Cambodia joins the 5G race despite concerns over cost and viability

'Staggering' investment needed to make next-gen services a reality.

The buzz around 5G mobile technology is building in Cambodia as major carriers plan to try out services this year and a state-owned telco teams up with China’s Huawei to roll out a network in 2020.

But while government and private-sector proponents point to the potential of the superfast technology to transform the country, industry experts say expectations may be racing ahead of reality. Fully functional 5G networks are likely years away for most Cambodians, and analysts question the commercial prospects given what they describe as the underutilization of existing networks.

The excitement in Cambodia comes amid a regional scramble toward 5G data networks, which neighboring countries like Vietnam and Thailand hope will narrow the development gap with Western countries.

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