Mobile applications for remote business and e-learning tools recorded their largest spike in downloads on the Cambodian market last month for both the Android’s Google Play and Apple’s App Store platforms, according to monthly data sets released by the online research website SimilarWeb.
The increase was attributed to the Cambodian Government’s closure of all educational institutions amid advice from private and public sector offices to implement work-from-home policies, to prevent the possible spread of COVID-19.
The globally popular “ZOOM Cloud Meetings” application and “Google Classroom” recorded top 10 spots in the number of total downloads by Cambodian users, while the locally designed and produced “E-School Learning” app recorded a top 20 place. The application is the first-ever online portal that allows Cambodian students to access their studies remotely.
Since the COVID-19 outbreak took hold this year, there has been a clear trend away from the previously most popular gaming and social media mobile applications and a move towards productivity, business and education tools. The trend has provided opportunities for local mobile application designers and developers to enter the now-booming market.
Khmer Times spoke with Thul Rithy, founder of Cambodia’s only local laptop manufacturer KOOMPI, which is one such company that has released a free online educational platform, exclusively designed for Cambodian students to continue their education at home amid the COVID-19 shutdown. Called “KOOMPI Academy”, the online learning program is described as being designed with “expertly selected material to facilitate students’ at-home learning experience”.
“KOOMPI academy is a pilot platform designed for schools and organisations that want to be able to publish their original content for themselves, for their staff and their communities,” Thul said.
In terms of the commerce side of the business, while the platform is free for users to download and currently all content is free to view, Thul explains that KOOMPI Academy is being designed to create revenue for his company in the future.
“The KOOMPI Academy platform is based on an incentivised system, this is where an education provider can develop courses and upload their content through an official account. The educational providers will be able to charge a reasonable fee to access this content and the platform will take a small cut of those course fees,” Thul said.
“Right now this is not our number-one priority. We want to make a platform that is useable by the general public and also to promote our main business which is our KOOMPI operating systems and laptops,” Thul added.
Mobile applications are becoming an ever-increasing driving force for e-commerce in Cambodia, with the Kingdom recording over 25 million mobile subscriptions (representing 1.5 for each person in the country) with 76 percent of the country now having access to the internet, according to Global Web Index 2019 figures.
The sector is tipped to be a further economic driver when the much-anticipated 5G network goes live this year. The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication has already issued an approval letter to five companies launching on the 5G network, the next step beyond 4G and LTE mobile networks, which provides faster speed and more bandwidth.