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Submarine Cable to Give Cambodia Bigger Byte

Khmer Times
02 March 2016Media coverage

A Chinese-owned company has been granted a 25-year concession to build and operate a $70 million submarine cable and landing station in Preah Sihanouk province, which will make Internet users in the country no longer dependent on Thailand and Vietnam for bandwidth, the Cambodia Fiber Optic Communication Network said yesterday. The company is a subsidiary of Shenzhen-based HyalRoute Group.

The contract was signed yesterday by Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Prak Sokhonn and CFOCN chairman Huang Xinglong Kan Channmeta, secretary of state at the ministry, said the build-own-operate-transfer contract would see the submarine cables and landing station transferred to the government in 25 years. “This project will contribute to increasing the percentage of Internet users in Cambodia from the current 45 percent, or 6.5 million people to about 80 percent in 2020,” he said in a press conference after the signing ceremony yesterday. “I’m confident that the project will significantly contribute to the development of information and communication technology in Cambodia,” he added. Mr. Channmeta said the submarine cables would have the capacity of 1.8 Terabits per second. HyalRoute Group said in a statement that the contract would move forward its ongoing Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) project. The AAE-1 Submarine Cable, a next-generation cable system built by an all-star consortium of 19 global telecoms, ventures to be the largest (25,000 km) and the newest cable to link major Asian, African, Middle Eastern and European nations via the lowest latency subsea route for over 15 years, the statement said. “It is expected to significantly bridge the digital divide between Cambodia and developed areas in the world,” it said. Joseph MC Chan, chairman of AAE-1’s management committee, said AAE-1 could provide additional means of communication to Cambodians by connecting them globally. He said the project is due to be completed and ready-for-service by the end of next year. HyalRoute Group is a leading telecommunication infrastructure provider in the ASEAN. Within the last decade, the firm has constructed 10,248 kilometers of terrestrial fiber-optic cable, covering all the 25 provinces and cities in Cambodia, the statement said, adding that it coverage had reached 300,000 households. The company has also constructed nearly 10,000 km of terrestrial fiber-optic cable in Myanmar, while the project in Laos is now under construction, it said. Cambodia Fiber Optic Communication Network is the second company to receive a contract to construct a submarine. Tecotec received a contract in 2015 to construct the Malaysia-Cambodia-Thailand network, but construction has yet to begin. – Xinhua, Additional Reporting by Chea Vannak
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