Telecom Law Opens Door for Investment

Khmer Times/Chea Vannak
Tuesday, 08 December 2015

The new Telecom Law recently approved by the Senate will open the sector for more investment as the government moves to ensure infrastructure for telecom services is provided nationwide by 2020, a senior official told a regional telecom forum yesterday.  

“The law will build a confident environment for new investors as Cambodia sets 2020 as the year of full telecommunication infrastructure and services throughout the country,” Kan Channmeta, secretary of state at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications,  told the ITU-ASEAN Forum on OTT Services: Business and Regulatory Trends. 

Mr. Channmeta noted that the law calls for the creation of a universal service application fund that will enable the government to build an infrastructure system to provide services to  remote areas across the country by 2020. The new law, which takes effect when it is signed by the King, also aims to more effectively collect taxes for the national budget, Mr. Channmeta said, adding that more taxes will flow to the government when each telecommunication company is strengthened.  

The official also said the ASEAN Economic Community, which begins at the end of this year, will be a significant benefit for Cambodia, especially in the telecoms sector. Cambodia’s young population, with about 60 percent of its 15 million people aged 15 to 35, is a major draw for investors, Mr. Channmeta said. He explained that young people learn faster and are more active on the Internet, making them more open to the new technologies investors bring and this will make Cambodia more competitive.

Moa Chakrya, an official with the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia, said that regionally Cambodia ranks second, behind Singapore, in mobile Internet usage.

The two-day forum that began yesterday aimed to look at alternatives to traditional mobile services. “Since the traditional voice and message services of mobile has declined, the two-day forum will discuss ways of finding original applications [Apps] for local and regional use,” Mr. Chakrya said. He said consumers in Cambodia and the region are using a variety of mobile applications to communicate, with the most popular being  Line, WhatsApp, and Viber. The use of Apps is surging in Cambodia and the region, he added.  

OTT (over the top) service refers to video, television and other services provided over the Internet rather than via a single service provider’s dedicated, managed Internet protocol television network. Those attending the forum are discussing ways to identify new mobile Apps for domestic and regional use, Mr. Chakrya said. With income from non-voice over Internet protocol (VOIP) mobile services falling globally, he said Cambodia “will establish OTT for use in the region.” 

“This requires human resources, knowledge and technology to develop and expand the business,” Mr. Chakrya added. 

Source: Khmer Times