Smart Axiata, a subsidiary of the Malaysia-based Axiata Group and a leading mobile operator in Cambodia, officially launched its 4.5G LTE network in Cambodia as an imminent rollout to a 5G network that would radically transform the kingdom’s telecommunications sector in Asean.
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Thomas Hundt, CEO of Smart Axiata, said during the launch yesterday that Cambodia’s economy was growing fast and there was a need for the company to invest more to develop the country’s mobile technology as well as to contribute to the development of the kingdom’s ICT sector.
“As internet speeds go up and data costs come down, new industries will emerge,” said Mr Hundt.
“In a new milestone today together with Huawei, Smart commercially launched the 4.5G [network]. The LTE Advanced Pro 4.5G features will be activated across 1,500 Smart sites,” he added.
Mr Hundt said with the new technology and launch of 4.5G, Smart’s network would significantly increase its capacity with faster internet.
“The 4.5G networks can provide up to eight times faster mobile internet speeds than normal 4G,” he said.
“Because of better mobile internet, subscribers will be able to enjoy more data heavy applications like video-streaming and the increase in entertainment content plus enhancing the value-added services that Smart offers.”
David Lixiongwei, CEO of Huawei Technologies Cambodia, said that the partnership with Smart in the launch of the 4.5G network will bring Cambodia closer towards “the next generation’s technology”.
“The move towards 4.5G will certainly bring significant network improvements from today’s 4G network while acting as a bridge for future mobile data applications when 5G is launched in the future. This includes mobile cloud services, 4K Ultra HD video, virtual reality, Internet of Things and much more,” he said.
Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Tram Iv Tek said that the launch of Smart’s 4.5G with support from Huawei was another milestone for the ICT sector in Cambodia that would play a key role in modernising and transforming digital businesses.
“Smart and Huawei, together with the ministry, are on this journey together to provide better, faster and more affordable digital services for all Cambodians,” he said.
“The launch of 4.5G certainly shows that Cambodia’s ICT sector is heading in the right direction.
“I hope that for Smart and Huawei, this launch would be a continuation of the many great milestones that they have achieved together with the ministry.”
In Cambodia, Smart has invested more than $60 million in 2015 and about $75 million in 2016. It committed a further $80 million this year to continue to provide fast and affordable mobile internet for all.
Mr Hundt said that Smart would work closely with all stakeholders and the government to take Cambodia to the next level of development as well as bringing new technology to the Cambodian people.
“We are one step closer of realising Cambodia’s dream of experiencing 5G. We at Smart will remain committed to work together with Telecom Regulator of Cambodia and the Ministry of Posts and Telecoms towards achieving the relevant 5G standards.
“We envision to be the first to launch 5G once that is set. We have commenced studies on 5G key technologies with our partner Huawei to ensure preparedness,” he added.
“Our core business of providing the widest and fastest mobile Internet connectivity will be complemented by more and more digital solutions which will then bring us much closer to our vision, which is the same as that of the government, to develop a Digital Cambodia.”