The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications of Cambodia (MPTC) has asked regulators to explore the possibility of small telecom operators jointly running as providers on Cambodia’s new 5G network.
There are currently five providers who have conducted tests: Smart Axiata, Cam GSM (Cellard), Metfone, the South East Asia Telecom Group Pte Ltd (SEATEL Group) and Kingtel.
MPTC Minister Tram Iv Tek says the government wants the 5G network to be launched as soon as possible in the Kingdom. Speaking to Telecom Cambodia officials, he wants the telecom regulator to study and check the possibility of whether some telecom operators can jointly invest in the vital network to expedite the process.
“The government does not have a large budget to invest in its 5G system, so we are looking into the possibility of allowing multiple private investors to create partnerships and provide the capital required to run this major project.
“Since there is a frequency limit on the current 5G network, we are considering setting the number of operators between four or five. This is because we need the network to run smoothly. We have to manage the frequency in order to comply with current international standards,” he said.
“If we allow too many operators to run on the network at once, the frequency will be too low and not provide the quality speeds needed to provide the benefit of a 5G network,” he added.
TRC spokesman H.E Im Vutha said that to run 5G properly, each operator needs at least 100 megahertz (MHz) of bandwidth and the 5G infrastructure currently has a capacity of 400MHz.
“Even though there is great demand, we have to think about the scarcity of our resources. We have limited bandwidth but we still want to have maximum investment, this is the challenge we are facing,” he said.
“This is why we are considering smaller companies to join with larger companies to maximise the investment potential in our 5G network. This is to ensure we can grow our digital economy and provide the vital digital infrastructure needed to see Cambodia into the fourth revolution,” he added.