Mobile Phone Operators Asked To Resolve Patchy Connections

The Ministry of Posts and Tele­communications held a meeting Friday to resolve the poor connection between MobiTel’s mobile phone service and three competing cell phone providers.

Meas Po, MPTC director-general and chair of Friday’s meeting, said he received letters from Applifone Co Ltd, the 098 line operator, and Telekom Malaysia International Co, the 016 line operator, who claimed that in past months many calls from their service to MobiTel had failed.

“I tried calling between Applifone and CamGSM (012) and it took me ten times to reach,” Meas Po told the meeting attended by representatives from CamGSM (MobiTel), TMIC, Applifone, and Viettel Cambodia Pte Ltd, which has yet to enter the market.

“I want to call 012 one time and have it go through,” Meas Po said.

A MobiTel representative who attended the meeting told the parti­cipants that he was unaware of the connectivity problem, though he promised to report the issue to his superiors. The MobiTel representative declined to give his name to a reporter who attended part of Fri­day’s meeting.

According to the MPTC’s 2003 interconnection regulations, mo­bile phone operators must accept calls from competing service providers.

“I think everyone understands clearly MPTC’s regulations. I think some company is not following our regulation,” Meas Po said.

Cambodia’s membership in the World Trade Organization obliges MPTC to prevent anti-competitive, discriminatory or restrictive practices between mobile phone operators, Meas Po added.

He also said during the meeting that the issue could be resolved through dialogue and continued oversight and not through fines or reprimands.

“It’s clear there is a problem,” Applifone’s chief technical officer, Boris Ochmev, told the meeting. “We are ready to make a technological investigation. We are just waiting for all parties to come together,” he said.

Contacted Thursday, a MobiTel spokesman said that the problem did not lie with his company and suggested it be investigated at Telecom Cambodia, the state-own­ed regulator through which all mo­bile phone operators connect.

However, Meas Po said during Friday’s meeting: “We think the pro­blem is not with Telecom Cambo­dia. We think this is a problem with the operator itself.”

With 1.5 million subscribers out of 2.2 million in the entire country, MobiTel dominates 70 percent of the market, Meas Po said during an interview in mid March.


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