The number of mobile and internet users rose substantially during the first half of the year, with the number of active SIM cards in the country now comfortably outnumbering the population.
According to statistics released by the Telecommunications Regulator of Cambodia (TRC), the number of registered SIM cards rose by 9.4% during the first half of the year, reaching 20.8 million, the Khmer Times reported on Friday.
Internet users – including both mobile internet and fixed internet – rose 31.6% and now stand at 15.8 million, which equals about 98.5% of the population.
TRC spokesman Im Vutha told the Khmer Times on Thursday that the SIM card market is saturated, with Cambodia now having more active SIM cards than people.
However, the number of internet subscribers has room to grow, he said.
“As you can see, the number of internet users has increased gradually because more and more mobile phone users are connecting to the internet,” Vutha said.
According to TRC, there are six telecommunications firms in the country – Cellcard, Smart Axiata, Metfone, Seatel, Cootel, and qb.
Vutha said competition in the telecommunications industry is fierce, resulting in lower prices for the consumer.
“We have a lot of competition in the market, which brings down prices for the user. However, sometimes the quality of service needs to improve,” Vutha said.
Three companies – Metfone, Cellcard, and Smart – account for 90% of users.
Smart Axiata, a leading telecommunications company, recently conducted a live trial of its 5G network with support from China’s Huawei. The company said it expects to begin rolling out 5G services in Cambodia by the end of the year.
TRC noted that, as of February, Facebook has 7 million users in Cambodia.