With competition rife in Cambodia’s telecommunication market, two of the country’s largest mobile phone operators have engaged in a battle over prices and are at odds over the tactics being used to gain market share.
On Friday, the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC) ordered all mobile phone companies to abide by a 2009 law that sets minimum prices for the cost of a call.
Smart, which the Malaysia-based firm Axiata Group Bhd owns, says the government decision is unfair to consumers and goes against the notion of a free market. But MobiTel, which is owned by the Cambodian conglomerate Royal Group, says Smart has offered deals so cheap it has engaged in unfair business practices.
On Monday, both Smart and MobiTel released statements stating they had agreed to withdraw their special offers to customers. Since mid-February, Smart has advertised a 500 percent top-up bonus-300 percent for calls and SMS, and 200 percent for Internet. At the end of 2012 MobiTel began offering a similar deal where customers received a 100 percent bonus.
Though not mentioning MobiTel by name, Smart CEO Thomas Hundt yesterday said his company could not be accused of operating unfairly and said it was up to the other companies to compete. He also said that instead of banning firms from offering bonuses, the government should let the market operate freely.
Joshua Wilwohl and Kaing Menghun
Source: accordance: opendevelopmentCambodia