Digital Star-Excell deal falls through

6 Jul 2012

The acquisition of Cambodian CDMA mobile network operator GT-Tell (operating under the Excell brand) by local telecoms firm Digital Star Media, which was announced in July last year, has fallen through. The Phnom Penh Post cites Excell CTO Chandrakant Darji as saying that the proposed deal was cancelled in February, but he declined to comment on the reasons for the collapse. He said the company will continue to offer mobile services and would work on the expansion of its network going forward. Under the previously announced deal, Digital Star, which operates a WiMAX network under the brand name Emaxx, would obtain Excell’s 28 cellphone towers and was expected to continue expanding the network and its capabilities going forward. In January 2012 Digital Star’s then-chief operating officer Frank May was reported as saying that the company was conducting due diligence on Excell.

As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the Cambodian wireless market is one of the most overcrowded and competitive in the world with no fewer than eight mobile operators competing for custom from the country’s approximately 15 million inhabitants. At the end of March 2012 Excell was the smallest mobile operator by subscribers, with an estimated market share of just 1.0%. The company launched its CDMA2000 1xEV-DO network in the capital Phnom Penh on 1 September 2008, and went on to launch a 1xEV-DO Rev A network in December 2010.

Cambodia, Kingtel, SEATEL (yes)