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TV goes digital by 2023, paving way for 5G

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Minister of Economy and Finance Aun Pornmoniroth (centre) discusses digital platforms with officials at an inter-ministerial meeting on Monday. Photo supplied

TV goes digital by 2023, paving way for 5G

The government on December 28 held an inter-ministerial meeting to discuss setting up a digital television platform as part of the Kingdom’s shift away from analogue.

Held at the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the meeting discussed the would-be platform operator’s models of management and financing (public, private or mixed) and shutting off analogue signals before 2023.

Also on the agenda were management of internet and mobile audiovisual services in the 700MHz frequency band, medium and long-term digital infrastructure and their implications for channels and progress updates, as well as business models for investment, the finance ministry said in a press release.

Minister Aun Pornmoniroth, who is also chairman of the ministry’s Economic and Financial Policy Committee, stressed the importance of the successful development and management of the audiovisual system to the Kingdom’s overall development.

He said modern technology will not only promote economic growth and increase competitiveness and economic diversification, but can also improve the mechanism of data management and propaganda system in the country in order to ensure highly-effective national and socio-economic security.

Minister of Information Khieu Kanharith brought up a digital television transition plan for the Kingdom at a meeting with Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Chea Vandeth in April.

According to the plan, the 700Mhz frequency band currently being used by local television channels will be diverted to the telecoms ministry to develop 5G systems and the digital economy.

Information and broadcasting director-general Phos Sovann told The Post in April that the information ministry had agreed to release the 700MHz band to the telecoms ministry to establish the centralised digital television platform.

“Prime Minister Hun Sen approved in principle the formation of a working group from the two ministries to establish a digital television platform,” Sovann said, adding that the platform will incorporate all current television channels.

“We hope that the platform starts this year and will be fully functional by 2023 so we can release the frequency to the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications to develop the 5G network,” he said. The working group will prepare an investment plan to support the programme and form a comprehensive expansion plan for its first three years (2021-2023).

In April last year, the government signed an agreement with Huawei Technologies, based in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen, to help develop a 5G distribution network.

As of the end of last year, Cambodia had 16.7 million mobile internet users and 215,000 fixed broadband connections, according to the telecoms ministry.

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