Recently published research from Business Monitor International, "Cambodia & Laos Telecommunications Report Q1 2013", is now available at Fast Market Research
Boston, MA -- (SBWIRE) -- 03/19/2013 -- BMI View: The Cambodian and Laotian telecoms markets are similar in several ways. Both countries have a relatively well-developed mobile sector, although prepaid subscriptions are the norm, resulting in low ARPU levels. Their fixed-line industries are still expected to experience growth at least until 2016 but mobile substitution is becoming an increasing threat, especially when operators step up their rural expansion plans. The mobile-over-fixed scenario is also likely to play out in the broadband segment, considering the lower cost associated with mobile broadband products and services.
- Forecast scenarios for Cambodia and Laos have been extended to 2017. In light of a lack of new data, most of our expectations before 2017 have remained unchanged.
- We continue to expect prepaid subscriptions to drive mobile penetration rates in Cambodia and Laos to 185% and 166% respectively in 2013, although further SIM registrations pose a downside risk to our forecasts.
- We envisage demand for fixed broadband services remaining low in spite of high ownership cost and poor network coverage. We forecast Cambodia and Laos to each have a penetration rate of less than 5% by end-2017
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Key Trends & Developments
Malaysia's Axiata announced in mid-December 2012 that it will acquire Latelz's Smart Mobile for US $155mn. Axiata will merge Smart Mobile with its own Cambodian mobile operator, hello.
In early November 2012, the Phnom Penh Municipal Court granted an injunction against Thaicom-owned Mfone for failure to pay US$3.7mn in debt to Eltek Valere. About a week later, Thaicom announced that it had passed a resolution approving the complete sale of Mfone to INT Management Service for US $100. Although the deal is only valued at US$100, Mfone is debt laden. As of end-September 2012, Mfone had a negative equity of US$38.15mn. In late November 2012, Eltek Valere submitted another injunction request to prevent Mfone from transferring its assets.
Russia's VimpelCom was reported to be planning to sell some of its underperforming operations in Africa and Asia as part of an initiative to reduce its debt pile and allow it to focus on its more profitable businesses. The operator has received considerable interest from its rivals in Cambodia and Laos.
Laos introduced LTE services for the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting in early November 2012. Services are expected to be made available to the population in the near future.
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