Cambodia Samart Communication will launch new data communication technology next month that will establish the country’s first live video broadcast system and draw Cambodia to the forefront of multimedia technology, a Samart official said Tuesday.
Samart will loan its microwave and video Codec technology to municipal-run TV3, enabling the station in Phnom Penh to share programming with its Siem Reap branch via microwaves rather than videocassettes, said Samart Chief Executive Officer Somchai Lertwisettheerakul.
Codec encodes, transmits and decodes data to devices such as mobile phones, computers and DVD players. It broadcasts TV and movie clips and messages.
The technology, successfully tested with TV3 over the past two months, currently can transmit one-way live feeds and may soon be capable of two-way live broadcasts, Somchai said.
Kitti Chai, TV3 vice marketing director, said the station is also considering taking video streaming to its Sihanoukville station.
Live TV feeds, scheduled to begin in June, will precede a multimedia messaging service that will transmit video clips, TV programs and messages via mobile video phones, Somchai said. Testing for the video streaming mobile phones will begin before the end of next month and will be commercially launched in July, he said.
Several thousand video phones are already owned by people living and working in Cambodia, Somchai said, and Cambodia’s potential for growth is high.
“The mobile phone penetration rate is high compared to the population,” he said, noting that 3 percent of the population, approximately 400,000 people, use mobile phones.
Samart more than doubled its budget this year and set aside $17 million to improve already existing phone systems, expand the network to 71 new sites across the country for a total of 200 and establish a rapid broadband Internet service that could replace the existing dial-up services used by many Internet cafes.
Samart, a subsidiary of Thailand’s Samart Corp, is now in the final stages of contract discussions with the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, ministry Undersecretary of State Koy Kimsea said Tuesday.