Land-lines, Mobile phones and Internet Established
The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC) was originally responsible
for policy making and has held regulatory and supervisory roles, including
issuing and administering licenses and frequency spectrum for the telecommunications
MPTC was also the operator of Cambodia’s fixed-line network but,
in January 2006, separated its telecom operation arm and established a
new public enterprise called Telecom Cambodia, having provided its own
assets equal to US$ 40.3 million and 700 staff members, to provide fixed-line
service with the 023 prefix. Telecom Cambodia dominates the fixed-line
service in Cambodia. It also operates the international connection.
The Draft Law on Telecommunications has been introduced to improve regulations
of the telecommunications sector, providing a more comprehensive framework
for the licensing and regulation of operators.
In September 2012, the MPTC officially launched the Telecommunication
Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) as a separate entity. The TRC’s establishment
will introduce regulations for managing conflicts among Cambodia’s
aggressive mobile network operators.
There are few countries with as many mobile operators relative to the
size of the population as Cambodia. The country reported to have 6 mobile
phone operators. As of last year, those operators had sold out 19.1 million
SIM cards, exceeding the country's population of only 14.5 million.
According to statistics, Cambodians have, on average, 1.3 mobile subscriptions,
and Cambodia was the first country in the world with more mobile phones
than fixed line phones.
MPTC reported that some 1.7 billion U.S. dollars had been invested in
building telecommunication infrastructure in the country in the last 3
Internet was introduced to Cambodia in 1997 by the MPTC with support
from the International Development Research Centre (DRC) of Canada.
A fibre optic cable was installed in 1999 running from Thailand to Vietnam
via Poipet–Battambang –Phnom Penh–Bavet. In addition,
a loan agreement for the Greater Mekong Telecommunication Backbone Network
Project (Cambodia Growth Corridor) was signed in March 2005 between the
Cambodian Government and JBIC to install 400 km of fibre optic connecting
Kampong Cham, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.
As a part of the GMS Information Superhighway project, the laying of
650 km of fibre optic cable was completed in July 2009. The cable links
Cambodia, China, Laos, Myanmar, Vietnam and Thailand. The cable runs from
Siem Reap to Kampong Cham, to Memot and on to the Laos border. At Siem
Reap, it links with the existing line which runs from the Vietnam border
to the Thai border. According to the MPTC, fibre optic cable network now
covers over two thirds of Cambodia.
Out of population of 14.5 million, Cambodia recorded about 2.7 million
internet users in 2012, a 60 percent rise year-on-year (approx. 17 percent
of the population), are using internet services provided by both mobile
operators and internet service providers. The kingdom has 27 internet
service providers serving those subscribers.