Ratanakiri Officials Frustrated With MobiTel Network Service

Authorities in Ratanakkiri prov­ince have been experiencing difficulties in making and receiving calls on MobiTel’s 012 phone network since Saturday, which has caus­ed disruptions to some of their work, officials said Tuesday.

Speaking by telephone on a different network, Deputy Provincial Police Chief Hor Ang said that the MobiTel network, which he usually uses, keeps cutting off mid-conversation.

“It is very difficult to communicate in order to investigate and to take incoming crime reports,” he said, adding that MobiTel inform­ed him that the problem was due to a broken network tower that was struck by lightning.

Provincial police are now using landlines and other mobile phone networks to communicate, Hor Ang said.

“If the problems continue, I will switch to [Camshin’s 011 network],” said Heng Thansak­un­thea, director of the provincial referral hospital, speaking on a MobiTel con­nection during improved service on Tuesday afternoon. “We are concerned that at night time if we have an urgent surgery we can’t call the doctors, and that if there’s an emergency, we cannot call the ambulance drivers,” he added.

A MobiTel official said on condition of anonymity that he had not heard reports of damage to a network tower serving Ratanakkiri. MobiTel is not experiencing any prob­lems with its services except for occasional disruptions due to poor weather conditions, he added.

Lightning and storms can sometimes cause temporary problems with the service, but nothing that would last for an extended period of time, he said.

Pen Bonnar, Ratanakkiri coordinator for local rights group Adhoc, said from Phnom Penh that his organization is also experiencing difficulties with the MobiTel network and has been unable to re­ceive complaints about rights violations.

“The people who want to file a com­plaint about human rights abuse cannot because of the problem,” he said. “The government should check with [MobiTel] to find the reason,” he added of the technical problems.

Ek Vandy, secretary of state for the Ministry of Post and Tele­communications, said his ministry has no control over MobiTel’s oper­ations. “We don’t interfere with Mobi­Tel because they are a completely private company,” he said.


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