The Ministry of Post and Telecommunications has requested that all Phnom Penh residents who are using mobile service signal boosters dismantle them, saying they affected the quality of mobile phone service.
Through radio frequency tests and mobile service assessment, the ministry has determined that the use of signal boosters is causing signal interference and severely affecting the quality of mobile phone services in the surrounding areas.
“As such, the ministry requests that all households currently using signal boosters and/or repeaters cease the use of these devices,” it said in a July 26 notice.
The ministry also ordered an immediate halt to the import of signal boosters and/or repeaters that had not been granted approval from the Telecommunication Regulator of Cambodia (TRC).
Citing Article 84 of the Law on Telecommunications, it said: “Those who are responsible for the establishment, installation, utilisation, or modification of telecommunication infrastructure and network or telecommunication equipment to cut off, disturb, or interfere with telecommunication infrastructure shall be sentenced to prison from one to five years and fined from two million to 10 million riel [$500 to $2,500]”.
The ministry also encouraged mobile operators to upgrade their equipment and construct additional base transceiver stations in order to expand cell coverage and improve quality of service.
Chan Krisna, resident of a gated community – known locally as borey – in the capital’s Chbar Ampov district, welcomed the announcement, but said the ministry should work to improve the quality of the services delivered by mobile providers.
“Because some mobile services do not work well, people have installed signal boosters. Unfortunately, this means those without boosters receive even weaker signals, or could not get one at all. I don’t blame either side, but I hope that service providers improve. Especially in the context of Covid-19, communication by phone and online is important,” he said.
Ouk Sophea, who lives in Borey Kour Srov 2 in the capital’s Dangkor district, said that because there was no reception, he bought a signal booster so he could use mobile phone and internet.
He requested that the ministry establish measures that would ensure they could rely on their service providers.