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Chinese firm eyes submarine cable investment in Kingdom

May Kunmakara / Khmer Times Share:
Prime Minister Hun Sen with Xu Siwei, a member of the board of directors at CRBC. Facebook

Beijing-based China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) expressed its intention to invest in a submarine cable connecting the Kingdom and Hong Kong.

Xu Siwei, a member of the board of directors at CRBC, communicated the company’s plans directly to Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen during a meeting in Beijing yesterday.

Mr Hun Sen is now in the Chinese capital as part of an official visit to the country.

Mr Xu told the Cambodian premier the CRBC already has multiple investments in the Kingdom, including a coal-fired power plant and infrastructure projects, and is now seeking new opportunities in the country.

“The company plans to invest in a submarine cable connecting Phnom Penh and Hong Kong that will enhance the speed and quality of internet service in Cambodia,” Mr Xu said.

Prime Minister Hun Sen welcomed CRBC’s plans. “We are very happy to see that a Chinese company has confidence in Cambodia and comes to invest.

“We support the company in its intention to invest in a submarine cable because Cambodia needs more investment in ICT.”

Im Vutha, spokesman for the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), told Khmer Times that the regulator also welcomes the company’s plans.

Only four companies have a license to invest in submarine cables in Cambodia. Companies eying this sort of investment can enter partnerships with one of these licensed firms.

In March 2017, Cambodia’s first submarine telecommunications cable was officially launched, having cost $100 million. Known as the ‘MCT cable’ (Malaysia, Cambodia, and Thailand), the project was a joint-venture between Cambodia’s Telcothech (a subsidiary of Ezecom), Malaysia-based Telekom Malaysia Berhad, and Thai firm Symphony Communication Public Company Limited.

Comprising a system of 1,300 kilometres of optical fiber cable, it boasts a capacity of at least 30 terabits per second.

According to TRC, the number of internet users in Cambodia reached 13 million in 2018, a significant hike from 2017’s 11 million.

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