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Cambodia Launches Satellite TV Service

Shin Satellite's Cambodian DTV Network signs a contract for the country's first direct-to-home service. One obstacle: pricey equipment

Shin Satellite subsidiary Cambodian DTV Network Limited (CDN) and National Television of Kampuchea (TVK) have signed a contract to launch the country's first DTH service.

The TECHO-DTV service provides DTH television programming to every household in the country. All local Khmer channels will be offered for free, while additional programming such as some foreign channels and the capability to subscribe to locally produced Pay TV content is planned for the near future.

However, while the service may be available nationwide, the CPE may be prohibitively expensive for many. The DTV set—which includes a 60-cm Ku-band satellite dish (with LNB & Mounting) and set-top-box with remote control—costs $75.

An October 2007 report from Cambodia's Ministry's of Planning and the U.N. Development Program said that Cambodia's average per capita income was $513 in 2006. While that's double from figures in 2000, the report said, economic growth is widening the income gap between urban and rural populations.

Poverty in rural areas was estimated at almost 40% of the population, compared to 5% of urban populations, the report said.

Two-thirds of Cambodia's 3 million households have no TV sets at home, according to CDN general manager Nuthapong Temsiripong.

The new service aimed to "build the nationwide information infrastructure that benefits all Cambodians in accordance to the government policy direction to evenly develop and educate its citizen," Temsiripong said in a statement.

That includes the "potential capability" to develop new programs for long-distance education to rural areas," he said.

CDN was established in February 2008 as a subsidiary company of Shin Satellite, which also runs Cambodian mobile operator CamShin.

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