Cambodia’s mobile phone market passed the 1.5 million subscriber milestone in 2006 and continued to grow substantially into 2007, an Australian telecommunications research group said in a Wednesday statement.
Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd said Cambodia’s mobile phone networks are expanding their number of customers at around 40 percent per year, while landline services were “languishing” at around 42,000 subscribers.
“The telecom sector remains in need of serious regulatory reform,” the firm said, adding that Cambodia needs to put administrative institutions and regulations in place to improve the telecommunications market.
“The good news is that foreign investor confidence appears to have returned and there are many positive signs that the economy is strengthening in a sustained manner,” the report said.
Internet services, however, are relatively expensive, the report adds. “Internet penetration has remained particularly low, with the services on offer being notably expensive in comparison to other countries in the region,” it stated.
So Khun, minister of post and telecommunications, said there may be more than 1.5 million mobile phone subscribers countrywide.
He added that his ministry plans to improve landline service in 2008, but said that it is an expensive process. “Fixing the landlines will take a long time,” he said.
Mobile phone networks are increasing their capacity according to their customer bases, he said, adding that customers are no longer experiencing difficulty with some mobile phone networks, as they did last month. “People called and told me there is no problem now,” he added.
An official with MobiTel declined to say how many customers use his network. Officials at Camshin Co Ltd and Telecom Malaysia could not be reached for comment.
A source working in the Internet industry, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, said the Internet could be cheaper if the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications installed fiber-optic cables throughout the country.