Cambodian wireless operator Smart Axiata has announced plans to invest a further USD75 million this year, as it continues to expand its 4G LTE network nationwide, amid surging demand for mobile data services. The investment follows on from the more than USD63 million spent on the extension of the Malaysian-owned cellco’s 4G service to all 25 provinces during 2015. Smart Axiata has also revealed that it recently completed the upgrade of all of its 2,000 base transceiver stations (BTS) with ‘3.75G’ HSPA+ technology. At present, over 40% of BTS are equipped with LTE technology, but this will increase to more than 50% by the end of 2016. Smart launched Cambodia’s first 4G LTE services in Phnom Penh in January 2014, before gradually rolling out the network to reach parts of all 25 provinces in June 2015.
‘Today, Smart is still the only operator providing 4G LTE across all 25 provinces, not only in the provincial capitals, but also many cities such as Oudong, Memot, Skun, Krakor, Moung Ruessei, Mongkol Borey and Neak Loeung,’ commented Smart’s CEO Thomas Hundt, adding: ‘As a long term investor in Cambodia, we will keep advancing our network and mobile internet infrastructure generally and by the end of 2016, we will have equipped at least 50% of our base stations sites with 4G LTE technology to let our customers enjoy the best and fastest mobile internet wherever they are.’