Uplifting the Telecom Industry with Revolutionary Internet Services

The Telecommunication industry has undergone a paradigm shift over the years and is revolutionizing with salient modifications. These companies are working persistently on delivering the clients with the utmost expertise and incorporating various measures like innovative mechanisms, client-friendly approach, and creating awareness about the Internet.

One such company reinforcing its customer-centric approach and accelerating their customer’s life and business through its services is Cellcard. Established in 1997, the company is being a leader in enterprise communication in Cambodia and is the longest-serving telecommunications company with a customer base of more than three million subscribers.

A Time-lapse of Cellcard’s Journey

Initially, Cellcard launched in 1997 in a joint venture with Millicom International Cellular offering customers the first prepaid service with scratch cards and was operating under the name of Mobitel. It is a contributor to breaking down the monopolistic structures of the telecom industry and as the market leader embarked on innovation in both technology and customer service. In the year 1998, Mobitel took the next step and was the first one to roll out a nation-wide network in Cambodia along with the first SMS and Roaming services.

Over the years, the company spread its wings by delivering flexible, focused, and customized technology solutions. In 2005, it launched its 3G network and a range of Value Added Services (VAS), followed by a credit sharing platform the following year. With its 3G benchmark, it included the transition of switching the brand name from Mobitel to Cellcard, which was followed by a $200 million investment in 2007 for Next Generation Network (NGN).

Consequently, in the next two years, the buy-out of shares from Millicom made Cellcard Cambodia’s only 100% locally-owned operator – a credit that has become intrinsic to the brand which still carries its tagline ‘Proudly Khmer’. The company is a rolling ball of innovations, which with every subsequent year has successfully set a track record bringing in new and diversified services. It launched its first mobile payment platform in 2010 and the first loyalty program in 2013, which was followed by further advancing the network of small cell solutions to improve indoor and the official launch of 4G LTE in 2015.

The Resourceful CEO

A charismatic personality, Ian Watson is the CEO of Cellcard and Group CEO for the ICT Division of Royal Group. He took on the dual role following the successful turnaround of Wing Cambodia. He is an MBA graduate and currently resides both in Cambodia and the UK. He is a veteran in the field of technology having extensive global experience and has accomplished a set of management and leadership roles. He started taking on business leadership roles with JCB, where he worked for six years.

Ian is an adroit leader, a sharp businessman, who is known to many as a powerful negotiator. His sheer inputs, principled work ethics, quiet but strong influenced personality has helped him gain an international footprint. He is a respected professional, who is lauded by past and present colleagues for his unshakable drive to succeed.

Here’s a flashback of Ian’s career over the years:

  • Before moving to Cambodia to set up Refresh Mobile, the first provider of virtual commerce platforms. Prior to Cambodia, he was the Chief Operating Officer of Texas-based Company, Iris Wireless, for five years.
  • Previous to this, he held key positions for Orange, moving across various operations around the globe for six years, starting as Head of Sales and Distribution to Group CCO for Orange Asia.
  • His last held position was COO for Orange PCS Ltd.
  • Ian was the Vice President of Operations for Brightpoint Inc.

Mapping the Road of 4G and 5G

“Cellcard has built Cambodia’s fastest and most reliable 4G data network and has attracted local, regional and global recognition and accolades as a result.”

The year 2017 marked its presence by the 4G LTE roll-out ramping up the number of sites from 300 to 3000 nation-wide. These whopping numbers made the company increase its customer base by 14% and mobile data traffic over the network close to 500%. The 4G LTE technology roll-out continues to be a success story for both Cellcard and Cambodia. In 2017 Cellcard was also ranked Number 1 in Cambodia’s first Consumer Value Index which rates the value for money, across the entire product range, as well as transparency and service.

With such a remarkable technology, the top-echelons of the industry acknowledge Cellcard’s efforts in building out its 4G network and making mobile data pricing affordable for everyday Cambodian consumers and creating its internet community.

With the 4G LTE roll-out nearing completion, Cellcard’s sights are firmly set on building the bridge to 5G. It aims to introduce 5G in Cambodia in 2020 and see the new technology become the Enabler of Dreams for its customers. The company believes that the aspirations of its customers to have a better quality of life should be met by 5G, in its almost limitless applications. It conducted 5G trials at the end of September 2018. Plans are in train to introduce a new range of 5G digital products and services in key locations in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

“The excitement of Digital Transformation with 5G has transfixed Cellcard teams and changed mindsets and work behaviors to drive innovation and embrace agile working.”

Celebrating the Customer-Centric Approach

With a rich experience of more than two decades, Cellcard stands by its vision of a digital lifestyle for customers as well as a digitized economy. It offers a full and comprehensive range of services which includes voice, data plans, tourist and roaming packages and a full range of enterprise and business solutions.

The company has led the Cambodian market through 2G, 3G, and 4G offering the widest and most affordable mobile data offers tied with the biggest and most reliable network. As the tagline says Proudly Khmer, its current strapline framing all current communications and campaigns is that Cellcard is for Everyone Everywhere. The values of the company towards its customers are deep-rooted in tradition with a progressively modern attitude towards technology adoption and adaptation.

This has made Cellcard one of Cambodia’s top three brands, which has built its reputation on trust and reliability, known as the steadfast operator with Cambodian family values at its core.

Emerald in the Crown

Over the years, Cellcard has won many accolades for its impeccable performance in the market and created its niche and achieved its brand identity. It has added many feathers to its cap and struck a chord with millennials. Here’s a glance at a few of its numerous achievements.

  • Dec 2019 - Outstanding Customer Experience & Mobile Operator Cambodia 2019, by IDG ASEAN.
  • Dec 2019 - Most Reliable Telecom Operator and Excellence in Telecom Industry, (recognizing Cellcard’s Chief Technology Officer (CTO), Mr. Jonjon Naval) by Global Brands Magazine.
  • Oct 2019 - Best Telecommunication Company in Cambodia” and Best Mobile and Digital Lifestyle Provider in Cambodia by the Finance Derivative.
  • Aug 2019 - Super 30 Companies of the Year by the Silicon Review, Best HR Strategy in Line with Business Award by CMO Asia, Dream Company to Work for Award by CMO Asia, Marketing Campaign of the Year Awarded by CMO Asia.
  • Jul 2019 - Best Mobile Network Provider Cambodia Award by International Business Magazine, Fastest Mobile Network from Ookla for period January to June 2019
  • May 2019 - Cambodia’s Best Mobile Network Service Provider awarded by International Finance Magazine, Best Emerging Market Operator Awarded by Telecom Asia
  • Feb 2019 - Fastest Mobile Network from Ookla for period July to December 2018, “Download Speed Experience” & “Upload Speed Experience” from Open Signal for period October to December 2018
  • Jan 2019 - Cambodia’s Best Brand Award from CMO Asia
  • Dec 2018 - Fastest-Growing Telecommunications Company from Global Banking and Finance Review, Cambodia’s Most Reliable Mobile Operator by IDG ASEAN
  • Nov 2018 - Most Reliable Telecom 2018 – Cambodia by Global Brands Magazine
  • Sept 2018 - People’s Choice Award by 5G Asia (CXO Operator of the Year)
  • July 2018 - Fastest Mobile Network from Ookla for period January to June 2018
  • April 2018 - Fastest Mobile Network from Ookla for period July – Dec 2017
  • Feb 2018 - 4G Download Speed, 3G Download Speed, Overall Download Speed and 3G Latency from Open signal for period Oct-Dec 2017
  • July 2017 - Cambodia’s Most Reliable Telecom Operator by IDG ASEAN
  • April 2017 - Fastest Mobile Network from Ookla from Jan to June 2017

The results are more than reinforced in the local, regional, and global recognition cementing Cellcard’s fast rise to network leadership in Cambodia.

The USP of Cellcard

Cellcard is recognized as the Customer Champion for having the best, widest, quickest, and most trustworthy network experience for customers nationwide. In the 2018 Open Signal report, Cellcard achieved the highest download and upload speeds at 8.3 Mbps and 2.4Mbps respectively, which made it a stand-out amongst all and surpass its competitors. The below diagram represents the results.

More impressively, Cellcard’s network speeds are consistently higher than their competitors. The below diagram shows the results of all Speedtest Awards since Cellcard first was announced the winner in 2017. The formal announcement of the latest awards will be in late January this year, and Cellcard again expects to maintain its lead.

Cellcard always strives to put the customers at the heart of everything it does. This quality of Cellcard makes it “out-of-the-box”, as it views its customers as the biggest assets and treats them with tailor-made amenities. “When one of our competitor networks went bankrupt, only we offered to match their prepaid balance so they did not lose any money. This was very important in a low wage economy and a key part of our brand values of being open, transparent and trustworthy.”

Adding Assets to the Cambodian Economy

In a market like Cambodia, where it is highly competitive with a low ARPU and 90% prepaid consumer base, the Cellcard leadership team operates with an entrepreneurial mindset. The key drivers of innovation and technology are the growth strategy of the company.

“Being Cambodian owned and with the vast majority of employees being Cambodian, we have a greater understanding of the market and the needs of Cambodia as an economy. We see our role in accelerating mobile data growth and smartphone penetration as the means to progress the kingdom and prepare for the digitalization of the nation”, added Mr. Watson.

Accelerating with Time

Cellcard is exploring its paths majorly into the youth segment and launches new digital content services and provides in-home data solutions for residential and commercial use.

The company’s focus will soon shift to 5G services to deliver superfast broadband, premium, and priority broadband products for the full range of consumer and enterprise segments.