Cambodia bans use of 3G phones

Prime Minister Hun Sen banned the latest generation of mobile phone services in Cambodia to curb the dissemination of pornography, an Associated Press report said.

The report said the prime minister heeded a request from his wife, before issuing the decision.

Bun Rany, along with the wives of several other senior government officials, recently urged Hun Sen to prohibit the use of 3G phones in the impoverished country because they could be used to spread obscene images, the report said.

In a petition addressed to Hun Sen, Bun Rany argued that obscene images had "gravely negative consequences for social morality" and could increase the "sexual exploitation of women and children and other vices that would cast our society as a very dark one."

"Hold it. Do not yet start the mobile phone services through which the callers can see each others' images," he said in a speech. "Maybe we can wait for another 10 years or so until we have done enough to strengthen the morality of our society."

Alcatel earlier announced that it would provide 3G mobile services to CamGSM, a Cambodian mobile phone network. Alcatel officials were not immediately available for comment, the report said.

It was unclear whether or not legislation was necessary for the ban to take effect, the report further said.