Cambodia OKs 3G, but bans video services

Cambodia's leading mobile firm MobiTel launched the use of 3G services after agreeing to drop a video phone feature that the government feared would be used to spread pornographic images, an Associated Press report said.


The Associated Press report, quoting So Khun, the Minister of Telecommunications, said the government has allowed MobiTel, a company partly owned by Cambodian businessman Kith Meng, to introduce a 3G network 'but minus video phone.'


In May, Prime Minister Hun Sen, heeding a request from his wife Bun Rany, ordered the ban of video phone service planned by MobiTel for fear that it could disseminate pornography among users, the Associated Press report said.


The Associated Press report also quoted David Spriggs, the general manager of MobiTel, as saying that his company began introducing 3G mobile services Friday, making it the first in Cambodia. The company currently has more than 1 million mobile phone users.


'If and when the government changes its position, we will be able offer video phone,' he said.


According to Spriggs, he didn't see the effectiveness of the government's ban on a video phone service since the new service allowed unlimited Internet access, where pornography Web sites were easily accessible, the report further said.