Samart, Shinawatra Discuss Cooperating to Share Costs

Two of Cambodia’s mobile phone companies have entered ne­gotiations to share their infrastructure, the Thai daily Bangkok Post re­ported this week.

Samart and Shinawatra are discussing ways the two Thai-bas­ed com­panies can cooperate in Cam­bodia, such as sharing a trans­mission network, the Bang­kok Post cited Shinawatra president Arak Chonlatanon as saying Wed­nesday.

Samart, which has a much wi­der network than Shinawatra, would make money from leasing the line, the newspaper said. Shi­­nawatra officials were quoted as saying their company would benefit by not having to spend mo­ney on new infrastructure to ex­pand their coverage.

It was unclear what impact this would have on subscribers or whether customers might see prices lowered. Local Samart officials could not be reached for comment Thurs­day. Shinawatra’s general manager, Worasit Uchai, said he was not familiar with the details of the negotiations.

The biggest impact of cooperation between the firms may be on their rivals. A Samart official was quoted in the Bang­kok Post as saying it would put pressure on CamTel, the third Thai mobile phone operator in Cambodia.

CamTel’s general manager, Anil Chandra Adhikari, said Wednesday that a merger would give the two firms a strong subscriber base and might give them an advantage over rivals.

According to the daily, Samart claims to have 20,000 subscribers to its analog system and Shina­watra 7,000 subscribers on its wireless loop and digital mobile network.

Adhikari said it would affect CamTel in terms of its marketing strategies in Cambodia.

Shinawatra launched its digital mobile phone system in April. Samart has a license for a digital system but has not launched it yet, and officials have blamed the delays on a market slowdown.



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