Internet Firm Inks Fiber Optic Deal

Local telecommunications company Chuan Wei (Cambodia) Co. Ltd. on Thursday announced a deal with Japan’s NTT Communications Corporation (NTT Com) to lay Cambodia’s first submarine optical fiber cable in order to bring greater connectivity and deliver higher quality Internet to Cambodians, according to a press release.

The cable will extend NTT Com’s pre-existing Asia Submarine-cable Express (ASE) to Cambodia, with transmission speeds of up to 100 gigabytes per second.

“The ASE will provide highly reliable, high-capacity communications connecting Cambodia and other countries in the Greater Mekong Subregion with major locations elsewhere in Asia, including Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan,” the press release said.

A timeframe for the project or its cost are not specified. A receptionist at Chuan Wei’s office in Phnom Penh on Thursday confirmed the deal had been struck but said no representatives of the company were available for comment.

Last June, another local telecommunications firm, Telcotech Ltd., a subsidiary of Internet service provider EZECOM, announced a $80 million plan for a similar submarine cable project—the Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand connection.

EZECOM CEO Paul Blanche-Horgan said last year that the project would be the first of its kind in Cambodia and estimated it would take about a year to complete, adding it would provide Cambodia with faster and more affordable Internet than it would need “for a long, long time.”

On Thursday, he said Chuan Wei’s announcement did not change Telcotech’s plans.

“The Telco Tech submarine is going ahead as scheduled and we are excited about the changes it will bring to Cambodia’s communication landscape,” he said by email Thursday.

Currently, Internet service providers in Cambodia tap into neighboring country networks via terrestrial cables in order to provide their service and are charged fees for such services, which are passed along to the consumer.

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