Directive Issued To Mobile Operators Regarding Fees

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telecom cambodia directive fees issued
A large amount of criticism on social media from mobile phone users in Cambodia has led to a directive being issued to telecom companies. KHMER TIMES / MAI VIREAK

The Telecom Regulator of Cambodia yesterday issued a directive to mobile operators to ensure they are transparent with automatic fees charged to customers after a spike in complaints.

According to the directive, signed by the president of TRC on Tuesday and issued yesterday, the country’s six mobile operators must from now on make it plainly clear to customers what automatic charges will be applied to their accounts and how to unsubscribe from such services.

“Telecom Regulator of Cambodia would like to inform all the owners and presidents of the mobile operators that presently the subscribers made many complaints and got angry with the abnormal fees charged without advance notice,” the letter said. “To avoid any problems, TRC would like the mobile operators to clearly specify information about fees for any services provided.”

Im Vutha, TRC spokesman, said the letter has already been sent to the mobile operators. “We saw many complaints from subscribers on social media, so we decided to issue the letter,” he said. “We don’t want any misunderstanding between the companies and the customers. We hope that they will follow our direction – if they run the business, they have to be clean and not cheat customers.”

Vutha added that the TRC is now planning to set up a complaint form on its website and Facebook page to ensure action is taken by the operators in the wake of the directive.

By the end of last year, there were six mobile companies with almost 20 million subscribers, of which 7.4 million were internet subscribers, in the Kingdom.

BigPhone now in Cambodia

Mobile World Investment (MWG), one of the largest mobile phone and electronics distribution chains in Vietnam’s Ho Chi Minh City, has opened its first overseas store in Cambodia.

The outlet, which is called BigPhone, hopes to tap into the fast development of technology and huge potential of young Cambodian consumers.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, the Phnom Penh store opened last week and will showcase the company’s own brand Gioi Di Dong, alongside Samsung tablets and smartphones plus products from Camfone, Huawei, LG, and Oppo. Apple and Nokia products will arrive next month.

Ho Viet Dong, MWG’s chief executive in Cambodia, was quoted as saying the Cambodia store is a pilot project before the company moves into Laos and Myanmar. The company’s next move will be decided after three months of the Cambodia debut. “MWG originally planned to enter Myanmar first, but Cambodia permits 100 percent foreign ownership,” he said.

The 400 square metre Phnom Penh outlet is aiming for monthly revenue of $100,000. MWG is targeting annual revenue of 230 trillion dong ($10 billion) in five years, and 63 trillion dong this year. In the past three years, the company has seen growth of more than 60 percent in revenue and more than 45 percent in net profit.

In 2016, mobile phone penetration was more than 125 percent of total population and internet penetration was 47 percent, according to a report from the Ministry of Post and Telecoms. This marked a big rise from 2008, when mobile phone penetration was only 25 percent and internet penetration was 0.13 percent.

Eight landline phone companies had 229,962 subscribers and 33 internet service providers had 97,386 subscribers, according to the report.

These articles were originally published in the Khmer Times.