A senior official from the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), says the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunication has removed the business licence and spectrum of Cambodia Advance Communications Ltd, known as CADCOMMS and branded as qb.
Cambodia Advance Communications Ltd or “CADCOMMS” has been in operation in Cambodia since 2008 when it launched a 3G network branded as qb.
qb is privately owned and operates its 3G UMTS—Universal Mobile Telecommunications Service network supporting High Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) over the B1 (2100 MHz) band, with the company holding 10 MHz of paired spectrum.
qb’s physical network is very small so in 2016 the company established a roaming agreement with Cellcard across both their 2G and 3G networks.
Im Vutha, a spokesperson for TRC of the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications, said the TRC decided to delete the licensing of qb because this company does not have any business activities.
“They informed us that they also want to invest in a 4G network, but there are no business activities. Therefore, the ministry has decided to withdraw their licensing as a mobile telecom operator and the spectrum it holds,” Vutha said.
He said the government will take over qb’s spectrum of10 megahertz (MHz).
When asked whether Metfone will acquire the spectrum from qb, Vutha said it was an ongoing rumour but for now the spectrum will be officially taken over by the state and the government will consider a new investment for it.
“So far there are no buyers on that spectrum because the government is taking it over. The ministry of Economy and Finance and Ministry of Post and Telecommunications will check if there is new potential investment and will provide the spectrum via a bidding process,” he said.
Vutha also said that the ministry has stopped the company’s pilot work on a 5G network and the ministry will release a clear policy on 5G that it will talk about later.
According to the report of the TRC, since 2014 until April 2020, mobile phone subscribers amounted to 20,745 million. However, fixed phone subscribers had dropped from 361,056 in 2014 to 53,247 subscribers in April 2020. Internet subscribers numbered 5.025 million in 2014 rising to 15.234 million in April 2020.
As of April 2020, there were 13 type of telecommunications licensing. These are a directory service, seven fixed phone, three international gateways, 68 internet service providers, nine mobile phones, three optical cable networks, one position and navigation, one satellite, three submarine optical cables, four telecom tower sharing, one toll-free, one value-added network 1 and 20 voice over internet protocols.
There are some companies conducting telecommunications business in Cambodia and related mobile and fixing services each including CamGSM, commercially known as Cellcard, Metfone, Smart Axiata Co Ltd, telecommunications company Xinwei (Cambodia) Telecom Co Ltd, operating under the CooTel brand, South East Asia Telecom (Cambodia) Co Ltd (SEATEL Cambodia), Camintel S.A. and Telecom Cambodia.
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