Cambodia to get telecoms regulator

The regulatory roles of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in Cambodia will be transferred to the Cambodia Telecom Regulator (CTR), according to a draft decree approved by Cambodia’s Prime Minister, Hun Sen.

The CTR will have autonomy over technical and administrative controls, as well as the establishment, operations and usage of network and telecoms services. Its aim is to make rules clearer and more transparent in the areas of spectrum and pricing issues.

The creation of the CTR has been welcomed by industry leaders in Cambodia where there has been a series of problems with spectrum allocation. Overlapping frequency licences have been sold to multiple ISPs, causing inevitable confusion.

In 2005, MekongNet bought a frequency licence for WiMAX services, but the ministry continued to sell licences for that frequency. And in 2010, a frequency licence granted to Star Digital TV overlapped with several other providers.

“We have been waiting for this for a long time,” said Sok Channda, CEO of MekongNet. “Previously, it had been difficult to do business because we didn’t have an exact law.”

“The establishment of the CTR will improve the telecoms sector’s present management system by separating the functional roles of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications,” a press release from the ministry stated.

Government statistics report that 13 million people, or 91% of Cambodia’s population, subscribe to mobile and fixed-line services, with approximately 680,000 internet subscribers.

In recent months, Capacity has been following developments across the Indochinese markets, with many carriers expressing a strong interest in establishing operations in countries such as Cambodia, Vietnam and Thailand. The June edition of Capacity magazine will feature an exclusive insight into this region and more information about this article will be posted online over the coming months.

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