Communications in Cambodia

Mobile Phones

The Khmer Rouge and subsequent civil war destroyed most communications infrastructure in Cambodia. Beginning rebuilding in the 1990s, it made little sense to invest in fixed lines - so 20 years later, everybody has a mobile/cell phone. Even in the remotest areas, people will be charging phones from car batteries (themselves charged from a shop with a generator), and reception is good just about everywhere - on the lake, in the mountains, on the islands.

While everybody has a mobile phone most people aspire to own an iPhone, and there are plenty around - some of them genuine. 3G reception does not cover the whole country, but is generally good in the cities, so your smartphone apps will carry on working properly.

Cambodia is an inexpensice place to travel

Nokia is still doing well in Cambodia

What it costs

Roaming costs are expensive, but you will be able to get a prepaid local SIM card for a few dollars, and 5 or 10 dollars will last for a long time, unless you direct dial international numbers (there are prefixes for cheap international calls).

Your guide or driver will be able to help you get a SIM card - there are no shortages of shops selling these and credit for your phone. iPads are less common here, but you can always trim a normal SIM card to the correct shape!

Internet Access

The internet is everywhere - but connections are comparatively slow everywhere, as well. Wifi is becoming more and more widespread, often free for clients and guests at restaurants and hotels, so mobile devices and laptops are well catered for, although watching video can be a frustrating experience. There are also plenty of internet cafes, and most guesthouses and hotels will have a computer or two available for hire.

In short, there are no excuses for not letting everybody know what a great time you are having.

Data Security

One word of caution for shared computers (including those in photographic shops) - viruses and malware are widespread, and we have heard of camera memory cards becoming infected. Assume that anything you give to a shop will be infected, and treat it with appropriate caution.

Buying Electronics

Cambodia is, generally, reasonably priced for consumer electronics, except the very latest imports. Ranges can be limited, however, with a seemingly random mix of up-to-date models, last year's models, and poor imitations. Warranty issues are an important consideration, but things like DSLR lenses (if you damage equipment), hard disk drives (if you need extra space) or mobile phones are fine to buy, including cheap monochrome handsets that are rarely seen new in the West. Memory cards can be very good value, but there are a lot of copies. Chargers and adaptors are usually easily and cheaply available.

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