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Camtel targets greater market share with first GSM rollout

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 12 Mar 2020
Camtel is looking to leverage several government concessions to capture additional market share.
Camtel is looking to leverage several government concessions to capture additional market share.

State-owned telco Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel) is ready to fully deploy its first GSM network in a bid to secure more share of the market.

Camtel has a grip on just under 3% of the local telecommunications market, and has been overtaken by competitors MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroun and Viettel (Nexttel).

The telco offers Mobile CT-Phone based on CDMA technology since it began operations in 1998.

The government, via the Telecommunications Regulatory Board, recently granted the company three concession agreements.

According to the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng the agreements include a licence permitting Camtel to run a GSM network via its mobile communications network.

Camtel said subscribers will immediately be able to use the mobile service as the network infrastructure is already in place.

The company added that since 2014, it has deployed 413 BTS 3G/4G for its mobile network, covering 65% of the population.

Camtel plans to add 60 base transceiver stations by 31 December 2020.

The government also renewed the network provider’s fixed telecommunications network licence which had expired after 15 years, and allowed the company to extend its national fibre optic backbone.

This will enable to telco to diversify its fibre network and extend coverage to remote areas. It will also permit the company to reduce internet cost, while creating more direct and indirect jobs, amongst others.

Minister Li Likeng said: “The granting of these concession agreements to Camtel aims to enhance the productivity of the national operator, in order to increase the supply of quality electronic telecommunications services at affordable prices.”

Camtel has monopoly over the country’s fibre optic backbone, and through strategic partnerships exploits different submarine cables, viz SAT3, WACS, NCSCS and ACE.

In 2018, the company announced its intention to distribute satellite-based internet.

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