Mobile Phones and Internet Use in Cambodia in 2016

For the fourth consecutive year, Open Institute has completed its research on the use of Mobile Phones and Internet Use in Cambodia. This 2016 study reports important changes that have taken place during the last year regarding communication devices that Cambodians use, how Cambodians consume information, how technology penetration is changing reading and writing habits, and how Cambodian society is quickly moving towards new forms of communication.

Data collected in September 2016 by interviewing 2061 participants aged between 15 and 65 years olds across Cambodia shows that over 96% of Cambodians claim to own their own phone.

Forty-eight percent of Cambodians were found to have at least one smartphone, a 21% increase from 2015. Some 48% of Cambodians say they use or have used Facebook (an increase of 39% from 2015, 106% from 2014 and 200% from 2013). Men claimed to use Facebook more than women (55% versus 41%).

Over 37% of Cambodians aged 15 to 65 claimed to use the Internet or to have used it at some point (up 15% from 2015, 72% from 2014, and 82% from 2013). More men than women claimed to use or to have used the Internet (48% vs. 26%) and more urban (48%) than rural (31%). Accessing the Internet from the users’ own phone was found to dramatically increase with education level, from 16% of those with no formal schooling to 90% of university students and graduates.

One of the study’s most interesting findings is the fact that almost a third of Cambodians now use the Internet to read and write — activities once limited to the classroom or office. This reading and writing activity allows them to access more information, enhance their communication skills, and increase their level of social participation.

This 2016 report has been generously funded by USAID's Development Innovations and The Asia Foundation.