Hello Axiata to buy Smart Mobile

Dylan Bushell-Embling
14 Dec 2012

Asian operators are continuing to bolster their international presence. Malaysia's Axiata has revealed its Cambodian subsidiary, Hello Axiata, plans to acquire and merge with Latelz Company in a $155 million deal.

Latelz operates the Smart Mobile brand in Cambodia, offering GSM/GPRS/EDGE technology on the 900-MHz and 1,800-MHz bands.

Hello Axiata expects the combined company to be the nation's second largest mobile operator, with 5 million subscribers. Axiata will reportedly own 90% of the converged company.

CEO Simon Perkins painted the merger as a necessary step considering the crowded Cambodian mobile market.

“Currently there are nine players in the market and we believe through consolidations it will come down to three to five operators. The time is right for us to consolidate,” he said.

Axiata's 70%-owned Bangladeshi subsidiary Robi Axiata has separately signed an infrastructure sharing agreement with Ranks Telecom (RanksTel) aimed at improving network resources while cutting costs, BanglaNews24reported.

Japan's NTT Com meanwhile announced its joint venture in Vietnam with VNPT has started offering services, after receiving a network license from the communications ministry.

The venture, Global Data Services (GDS), last month became the first foreign-capital supported enterprise to receive an operating license in Vietnam.

GDS is offering domestic and international services, including a multi-carrier domestic data network service, internet access and direct connections to internet exchanges.

NTT Com in October also received the first operating license awarded to a foreign telecom operator in Myanmar.

Rival Japanese operator KDDI this week revealed it will itself start offering services in the Myanmar market from January.

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