MPTC passes interconnection edict

12 Oct 2009

The government of Cambodia has introduced a new edict regulating interconnectivity between mobile phone operators, reports local daily the Phnom Penh Post. The move forms part of a strategy aimed at resolving the dispute over alleged call-blocking between market leader Mobitel and new entrant Vimpelcom-owned Sotelco (Beeline). Director general of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications (MPTC), Mao Chakrya, said the prakas (edict) replaces interconnection regulations dating from 2003 that had grown obsolete in the face of intensifying competition in the sector since a number of new players have entered the market. The prakas sets out guidelines for operators to follow when negotiating interconnect agreements, establishes the rights and responsibilities of operators, and outlines a framework for determining interconnection capacity. The report adds that the ministry is also preparing a second prakas on industry tariffs in response to accusations against Beeline of unfair competition and price dumping.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Russian-owned Beeline’s controversial Boom tariff, which offers users cross-network calls at USD0.05 per minute, was criticised by the MPTC and Mobitel in August 2009 as ‘unfair competition’. In response, Mobitel reportedly blocked interconnectivity between the two networks, while Beeline was accused of using Mobitel’s five prefixes without permission in a bid to bypass the block.