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Last updated: 2013
Trade & Investment Promotion Unit - Royal Embassy of Cambodia - London

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 sector.

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 years.

Internet Service

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.

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