Cambodia is currently hosting the Asia-Pacific Telecommunity’s (APT’s) 16th Telecommunication/ICT Development Forum to identify the challenges in the Kingdom’s rural telecommunications development.
The three-day forum will be held between Tuesday and Thursday in Phnom Penh and has drawn about 200 participants from APT member nations.
Key topics discussed at the forum include affordable and sustainable high-speed internet connections, policy preparations, and legal instruments for the support of innovative technologies and communication technology services.
The forum will also focus on developing an ecosystem for regional and global Internet innovation to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Speaking at the forum on Tuesday, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Tram Iv Tek said the APT has contributed to the development of telecommunications and communication technology and information.
It has also promoted the quality of people’s lives in the Asia-Pacific region, including Cambodia.
“During this forum, the APT will discuss development issues for the telecommunications sector and telecommunications technology and information, while member countries share their experiences,” he said.
APT secretary-general Areewan Haorangsi said the event will also focus on APT’s strategic plan for 2018-2020.
“[The APT’s] projects include connectivity in the telecommunications sector, communication technology and information in rural areas, as well as initiatives from APT member countries in the form of pilot projects to protect themselves from cyberattacks,” she said.
In July, China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) provided its first loan of $75 million to Cambodia Fiber Optic Communication Network Co Ltd (CFOCN) to improve the Kingdom’s internet speed and quality.
The AIIB project invested in approximately 2,000km of metro and regional fibre optic backbone networks to provide wider coverage in major cities, suburbs and rural areas.
The project is expected to support the government’s Information Technology and Telecommunications (ICT) plan, which is expected to achieve 100 per cent broadband coverage in cities and 70 per cent in rural areas, the AIIB said.
Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia data shows a rapid increase in mobile internet usage, with 12.9 million subscribers using their mobile phones to access online content last year – an increase of 22.79 per cent – while 34 operators provided fixed-internet to 147,596 users – up 9.16 per cent.