Chinese Firm Joins Crowded Telecom Market

Mobile firm CooTel, a subsidiary of a large Chinese tele­communications corporation, is making plans to enter Cambodia’s oversaturated mobile phone market, officials said. The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications granted CooTel’s parent company, Xinwei (Cambodia) Telecom Co. Ltd., an operating license in August 2011 and the firm has already opened an office on Street 169. Xinwei Cambodia is a subsidiary of Beijing-based conglomerate Xinwei Telecom Enterprise Group, whose chairman is Chinese tycoon Wang Jing. Last month, Mr. Wang announced a highly ambitious $40 billion plan to construct a canal, oil pipeline and two airports in Nicaragua. … Reuters reported in June that Mr. Wang claimed to make his initial wealth from a gold mine investment in Cambodia, though the name of the mine and its location are unknown. … CooTel’s technology, known as McWiLL, or Multi-Carrier Wireless Information Local Loop, is a so-called 4G network developed by Xinwei, and its deployment in Cambodia appears to be the company’s first large-scale commercialization of the network outside of China. … Earlier this year, Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei signed a deal to install thousands of transmitters countrywide to create the network for CooTel. “The completion of this large-size project will enable the 4G signal to reach 90 percent of the Cambodian population,” Huawei said in February.