Samart To Launch New Broadcast Technology

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.

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