Workshop on the study of legal, regulatory issues and operational experiences from ASEAN member states to the newly established telecommunication regulators in Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar held on November 28-29, 2013 in Inter-Continental Hotel, Phnom Penh capital city, presided over by His Excellency Mr. PRAK SOKHON, Minister of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.
Stated for the two day-workshop, His Excellency Mr. PRAK SOKHON said that the workshop we start today follows the decisions of the 18th ATRC Meeting held last year in Sihanouk ville, in order to study legal and regulatory issues and to share operational experiences among ASEAN Member States for the benefit of the newly established telecommunication regulators of Cambodia, Lao PDR and Myanmar.
He said that today, more than 78 percent of our citizens in ASEAN countries are using ICT in different facets of their lives, employing around 11.7 million people and generating more than 3 percent of our GDP.
He added that as an ASEAN Member State, Cambodia has been working with its available resources to improve the access and the use of telecommunication network. We have managed to improve connectivity through mobile phone, arising to 139 percent penetration, which is higher than that of developing countries’ average and of the world’s average in 2013. Through internet penetration rate and broadband accessibility have been improved, more efforts are still needed to pull Cambodia up to the regional level. Sectorial reforms have been mostly achieved, thus fostering better environment for the development of telecommunications/ICT in Cambodia.
His Excellency emphasized that challenges, though, remain. Regulatory issues such as licensing, access and infrastructure facilities sharing, interconnection, competition, price regulation, numbering and addressing, administration of spectrum and network security are among the hottest ones. TRC is tasked to deal with these issues on an urgent manner, in order to ensure stable telecommunication market and fair competition, and avoiding some operators to go bankrupt. Regulatory issues we face is the consequences of the ‘pricing war’ which is currently under way in Cambodia between mobile operators. While introducing the Inter-ministerial Prakas 232 which regulates retail pricing and charging for termination rates and interconnection with the industry actors in order to improve and possibly replace it with a Regulatory Decision would be the best way to end the battle.
The Minister confirmed that other initiatives and measures will help this regulatory work. Among them is the adoption of the spectrum pricing formula in order to provide transparency and certainty in the licensing of spectrum through administrative process.
‘Very soon the MPTC will resubmit the draft of the Telecommunication Law to the Council of Ministers for consideration and adoption. The National Broadband Policy, which has been developed with the support of ITU will also be submitted to the Royal Government of Cambodia for approval and official implementation.
His Excellency the Minster hoped that this workshop will offer a good opportunity to policy makers and telecommunication regulators of ASEAN Member States to exchange ideas and share their practical experiences on the formulation and enforcement of telecommunication regulations.