Cambodia mobile telecommunication market: Opportunities and challenges
Information and Communications Technology (ICT) has become a necessity in social and economic development and is a leading sector to enable and drive growth in other sectors in Cambodia such as education, agriculture, and health. Recently, the mobile telecom service market in Cambodia has demonstrated rapid growth, which is jumping off the fixed-line, with a penetration rate of 75.27% of the total population by the end of 2010. Despite this rapid growth rate, the mobile telecom service market in Cambodia faces a number of key challenges. There seems to be excessive competition in the mobile telecom service market due to the number of operators (eight active operators). In the short term, this market favors demand side rather than supply side by lowering prices. Consumers' welfare increases with the lower prices resulting from heavy competition. Also the dominant market players gain relatively higher profits while those of the less-dominant players have been squeezed by increasing market polarization. Furthermore, there is a lack of sector policy framework, Telecommunication Law, which means government Ad hoc regulations are implemented in the market to resolve the issues. These factors will contribute to market failure and lower market efficiency in the long run. This study examines the competitive environment of the mobile phone market in Cambodia to identify what the challenges are and how to overcome them through the involvement stakeholders in the mobile phone market in Cambodia. In addition, we criticize the current static efficiency-based market performance. We analyze various data including relevant government documents, operators' data, and materials from relevant websites. Furthermore, a survey was conducted with 150 people to examine the consumers' assessment on the experiences of mobile telecom services usage. The expected results will verify that the current static efficiency-based policy framework results in a stagnant market and is lacking sustainable driving force, which needs to be resolved in the dynamic perspective. Finally, we propose future policy framework for the dynamic efficiency enhancement in the market.
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