The government collected about $29 million from posts and telecommunications and licensing fees last year, according to the latest report from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication.
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A breakdown of revenue from institutions controlled by the ministry is set out in the report.
This says that last year, income from Cambodia Post was about $8.49 million, with $8.38 million from the postal business, and $35,525 from other operations.
Unaudited income from Telecom Cambodia was about $16 million, down about 9.27 percent from $17.9 million in 2016. Telecom Cambodia lost $2.6 million.
The report added that Telecommunication Regulator Cambodia also generated about $3.14 million from issuing licences to telecom operators.
This was down about 8.67 percent from $3.44 million in 2016.
So far it had issued about 107 licences, of which 81 were active and 26 were deactivated.
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Tram Iv Tek said the ministry had enforced the existing regulations and laws to improve revenue collection and was trying to modernise the industry.
“In order to increase revenue, we have been trying to strengthen the debt collection mechanism by always checking the debt list and issuing alert letters to debtors to pay us on time,” he said.
“As a result, in 2017 the ministry generated more than 118,000 million riel ($29 million), equivalent to over 71 percent of the plan,” he said.
According to the report, the private sector in the field of posts and telecommunication sector owed the government a total of $44 million, of which the current debt was $27.9 million and the default debt was $16.58 million.
The report added that last year debts for telecom licensing were $5.45 million. Debts which were forced to be paid back to Telecom Cambodia amounted to about $23.9 million.
According to the report, the number of mobile connections in Cambodia has decreased slightly, from 19.91 million in 2016 to 18.57 million in 2017, a figure that is still higher than the country’s population.
Mr Iv Tek said the ministry must keep modernising, strengthen the staff’s capability and efficiency in all tasks, seek funds and techniques to support training at the ministry’s institute, and strengthen mechanisms and facilitation with operators and stakeholders and the private sector.
It must also continue to modernise the post system to comply with international standards and build trust in the service. It must increase cooperation with other countries in the region and around the world.
Meanwhile, the number of internet connections has experienced a marked increase, according to the report.
The 6.74 percent drop in the number of mobile connections last year was the result of saturation in the market and stricter implementation of laws regarding SIM card registration, according to the report.
The report added that more than 10.7 million mobile phones had internet connection in 2017, a 33.77 percent increase year-on-year.
It said there were 8.5 million internet users in 2017, an increase of 500,000 people compared with the year before.
Fixed internet subscriptions grew by 41 percent, reaching 138,672 in 2017.
“The increase in internet users is made possible thanks to the government’s master plan for the sector and the investment made by the private sector to develop telecommunications infrastructure like fibre optic networks,” the report said.