Japanese mobile operator NTT DoCoMo is interested in buying Millicom International Cellular’s (MIC) stake in Cambodian cellco CamGSM (Mobitel), writes Reuters citing Toshinari Kunieda, senior vice president and managing director of DoCoMo’s global business. The Japanese company believes the acquisition would boost its presence in Southeast Asia, although the report stresses that DoCoMo has not yet decided whether to make a bid for Mobitel, and will consider other merger and acquisition possibilities in the country. Kunieda added that DoCoMo is also considering investing in Sri Lanka, and could look at Luxembourg-based MIC’s Sri Lanka asset Celltel among other possibilities. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, CamGSM was established in April 1996 as a joint venture between MIC (58.4%) and the Royal Group of Cambodia (41.6%), and the same month was awarded a 25-year (extended to 35 years in 1999) GSM-900 licence by the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications Cambodia (MPTC). Services were launched in March 1997 under the Mobitel banner. At 30 March 2009 it was the country’s largest cellco by subscribers, with a mobile customer base of 2.17 million, representing 46.4% market share.
In other news, rival Cambodian cellco Smart Mobile is to launch ANZ Banking Group’s payment service dubbed WING, writes local newspaper Phnom Penh Post. The service allows payment by mobile phone using the WING Tinh Card, a top-up system starting at USD1. WING’s managing director, Brad Adams, said deals with other mobile phone providers are also planned. The solution also launched on the network of Telekom Malaysia International Cambodia (TMIC), which operates under the brand name Hello, in April this year.