The International Finance Corporation (IFC) has announced that it has invested USD100 million in Cambodian network operator CamGSM (Mobitel). It is hoped that the funds will help to stimulate competition and strengthen the country’s telecoms sector, through the expansion of CamGSM’s network to rural areas. Interim CEO of the cellco, Jeffrey Noble, said: ‘The IFC is providing long-term financing, which is not readily accessible in frontier markets like Cambodia. This is a wonderful vote of confidence in the country at a time when the impact of the global recession has started to affect the economy. The IFC’s reputation has also brought in other international banks, which should attract more such important financing to the country.’ As part of the initiative, CamGSM aims to add an additional two million subscribers by 2010, and to help businesses grow by providing them with better mobile internet coverage.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, CamGSM is jointly owned by Luxembourg’s Millicom International Cellular (58.4%) and the Royal Group of Cambodia (41.6%). At the end of 2008 it was the largest wireless operator by subscribers in Cambodia, with a total of 2.12 million customers, and a market share of 54.1%.