Cambodia now has 12.5 million internet users, compared to 10.8 million last year, an increase that follows mobile operators’ service expansion in rural areas, an official of the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia said.
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Im Vutha, TRC spokesman, told Khmer Times that Facebook users numbered 7 million in Cambodia, up from 4.8 million last year. Meanwhile, the number of mobile connections rose to 19.16 million from 18.57 million in 2017, a figure that is higher than the country’s total population of 16 million.
“The rise of internet subscribers can be attributed to the fact that some mobile operators have expanded their coverage to rural areas.
“This year, 99 percent of the population has access to 2G technology and 65.8 percent use 3G technology, which covers 29.5 percent of the country, whereas only 57 percent of the population has access to 4G technology, which is available in only 12.7 percent of the country,” Mr Vutha said.
He said there are only about 137,000 fibre optic connections due to the high cost of leased lines, users’ preference for mobile internet and low take-up by home users and companies, while the quality of networks and coverage has improved, with more areas covered by 3G or 4.5G networks.
Mr Vutha said with Cambodians’ liking for travelling, mobile internet is a necessity.
“Cambodia has more than 37,441 kilometres of fiber cable optic network and two marine cable optic connections in operation, the Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand (MCT) and the Asia-Africa-Europe 1 (AAE-1) links.
“We should adopt a policy to boost broadband as it is necessary for the future, especially in the industrial sector,” Mr Vutha said.
“The country’s economic growth has boosted the living standards of the people, making new smartphones and new technology, which they use both for voice calls and internet, more affordable. We want nationwide internet connection by 2020 to 2023.”