South East Asia Telecom Cambodia (SEATEL Cambodia), the local unit of Singapore-registered South East Asia Telecom Group (SEATEL Group), plans to invest a total of USD500 million in the rollout and operation of a 4G network in Cambodia over the next few years. The Cambodia Daily cites SEATEL Group president Han Hanchou as saying that the firm’s investment is split into three phases over the next two-to-three years; the first phase was started in August 2014 and saw around USD100 million spent on the construction of SEATEL’s Cambodian headquarters in the capital Phnom Penh and the purchase of 5,500km of fibre-optic cables. ‘At the end of 2015 we will start the second phase, which includes increasing capacity and coverage. Phase three will start at the end of 2016,’ Mr. Hanchou noted. Last November it was reported that SEATEL had awarded China’s ZTE Corporation a contract for the deployment of a 4G LTE network in Cambodia.
In 2013 SEATEL acquired one of the Cambodian wireless markets smallest players, GT-Tell, which operates a CDMA2000 1x EV-DO network under the brand Excell, although Hanchou revealed that both GT-Tell and its Excell moniker will be dissolved. According to Hanchou, investors in SEATEL include Hong Kong’s First Oriental Holdings Limited and Sun Bright International Holdings, adding that an injection of cash from one unnamed investor allowed SEATEL to move ahead with its plan to rebrand Excell and introduce 4G voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology.