Ministry, Businesses Discuss Telephone Service

The Ministry of Post and Tele­com­munications and members of the local business community on July 13 discussed the high price of telephone call services in Cambodia and difficulties connecting between mobile phone networks at a workshop in Phnom Penh.

The meeting was held at Prime Minister Hun Sen’s request following questions raised about the high cost of call services in Cambodia at June’s donor meetings, Minister of Post and Telecommunication So Khun told the workshop.

During the three-hour meeting, So Khun explained that calls made between different mobile networks have to pass through the state-owned Telecom Cambodia’s call center, which occasionally delays connection.

“We have to be patient and call one or two times to get connected,” said So Khun, who dismissed rumors that individual phone networks were setting up connection barriers to hurt competitor networks. “There is no benefit if they set up barriers,” said So Khun, who was pre­viously a paid adviser to Mobi­Tel, operator of the 012 mobile phone service.

Participants at the workshop also suggested a reduction in the cost of international calls and called for an improvement in Internet services.

So Khun, however, said that international call prices in Cambodia were not high compared to other countries.

Te Taing Por, co-chairman of the Small and Medium Enterprise working group, Cambodia’s first private sector oriented NGO, said by telephone Friday that call costs are higher in Cambodia than other countries in the region and are putting local businesses at a disadvantage.

Te Taing Por added that the persistent difficulty in calling between mobile phone networks is unreasonable and should be remedied.

“I don’t think business people like to carry four to five phones with different numbers,” he said.

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