KOOMPI Fi-Fi: Building Internet-For-All

Article by

Puthealin Sok

Imagine what life would be like without the internet. What would you be doing instead of reading a blog like this to stay updated on what’s happening around you or learning new skills online? As the internet continues to profoundly influence the way we learn, live and work, not having access to it can mean years of lost potential.

That’s a situation commonly seen in rural areas in Cambodia and a challenge SmallWorld Venture’s startup, KOOMPI, aims to solve.

Starting as a refurbished computer project for students access free internet-enabled computers, KOOMPI has evolved to become Cambodia’s first laptop brand and now produces other tech solutions on top of laptops. But let us pause on what it means to be “internet-enabled.” With internet, people can transfer information around the globe in seconds, compounding the speed of innovation. Recognizing this, KOOMPI created a new Wi-Fi network under their Internet-For-All Initiative to enable ultra-affordable internet access for everyone in Cambodia.

“We noticed that most people in remote areas use smartphones and mobile data to access the internet, which is expensive and unstable,” said Hongsea Heng, KOOMPI Network Development Lead. “We started building our Wi-Fi network, KOOMPI Fi-Fi, in 2020. When the pandemic happened, it became even clearer that an alternative internet option to mobile data was necessary, especially for students and teachers to continue their classes,” said Hongsea, who is also KOOMPI Fi-Fi Project Lead.

KOOMPI Fi-Fi team installing Wi-Fi equipment at Saang High School

In its initial phase, KOOMPI Fi-Fi aims to provide price-competitive internet packages to their partner schools, especially ones in remote areas. For only $1.25 per month, each student and teacher can connect two devices to KOOMPI's fiber internet — high-end tech that transfers data at almost the speed of light.

Their first installation of KOOMPI Fi-Fi is at Saang High School in Kandal Province. “Now, about 2,000 students there can properly access free online learning platforms like SALA KOOMPI through our Wi-Fi network and the computer lab we’ve built for the school,” said Hongsea. Combined with KOOMPI’s wider solutions, including cost-effective laptops and free digital learning and productivity tools, KOOMPI Fi-Fi is opening doors for potential innovators who may not have a chance otherwise.

Continuing their Internet-For-All Initiative, KOOMPI Fi-Fi plans to extend beyond schools to reach the wider villages. With 5G technology and its revolutionary promises on the horizon, KOOMPI Fi-Fi is also preparing for the future. “5G is definitely in our plan, but, at KOOMPI, we’re always mindful about the efficiency and versatility of what we create and what we use to create it. This makes us glide along with the ever-changing tech while also being price-competitive,” said Hongsea.

KOOMPI is a startup born out of out of SmallWorld Venture, a member of ISI GROUP under our Investment division. To learn more about how we are building on our successes through diversifying our portfolio, visit our Investment page.