Cambodia Could Be First ASEAN Country With 5G Tech Through Huawei

Cambodia PM
Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen attends a groundbreaking ceremony for the Project for Flood Protection, donated by Japan, in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, March 4, 2019. (Photo: REUTERS/Samrang Pring)

Cambodia is working to be the first ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member country to have 5G technology as Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen is set to strike a deal with Chinese tech giant Huawei.

According to Xinhua, Hun Sen is scheduled to meet with a Huawei representative over the weekend to discuss the deal, Sry Thamarong, a minister in connection with the Cambodian Prime Minister, revealed on Thursday.

"There will be a signing ceremony between Huawei and the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications on the development of a 5G network in Cambodia," the minister said.

Thamarong noted that 5G tech is not present yet in any ASEAN member country. If negotiations go well, Cambodia will experience high-speed connections as the country aims to push for growth in its digital economy.

Cambodia has been working hard to transform into a more digitized Kingdom. Last month, it hosted the first Digital Cambodia conference. Telecoms and tech startups showcased various types of products and services.

Before the conference was held, industry analysts have expressed concern over the Kingdom's seemingly slow development in the digital world. Through the conference, Cambodia displayed a willingness to transition to the latest technology that could spur growth in the economy, experts said.

President of the National Institute of Posts, Telecoms, and ICT (NIPTICT) Dr. Seng Sopheap said that Digital Cambodia was established to highlight the Kingdom's digital transformation. He said that while the Kingdom is not yet like Singapore, digital initiatives have been pushing through over the last two years.

Earlier this week, Mekong Strategic Partners and Raintree released Cambodia's first technology startup report. According to the Khmer Times, the report indicated that Cambodia's digital startup environment is doing great.

In line with the report's publication, the Cambodian government also revealed that it is in the process of developing a policy that should encourage innovation and tech startups to open opportunities for youth. The move is part of the Kingdom's "Fourth Industrial Revolution" initiative.

With the latest news about Huawei sharing its 5G technology in the Cambodian market, it is expected that various sectors will benefit greatly despite U.S. security allegations on the Chinese Honor maker's advanced technologies.

Undersecretary of State at the Cambodian Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Meas Po, told Nikkei Asian Review that the Kingdom's 5G network may be rolled out sometime next year.

Po added that Cambodia will also partner with South Korea's Korea Telecom or KT Corporation to assist Huawei in building the Kingdom's 5G network. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed after Hun Sen returns from the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.

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