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Regulator delays MTN Cameroon’s 5G ambitions

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 09 Sep 2021

MTN Cameroon’s plans to test 5G technology in the country has been delayed by regulation, specifically by the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Board (ART).

Corporate Communications Manager of MTN Cameroon Massey Njiti-Bongang confirmed the delay with ITWeb Africa. “We requested a testing license two years ago and we still don’t have feedback from the regulator. There’s no further information we can disclose.”

According to a source within ART, the regulator had received the request but had not responded and it is unclear as to why it is taking so long to make a decision.

The regulator did not respond to requests for comment at the time of going to press.

The deployment of 5G connectivity calls for huge investment in infrastructure, a commitment MTN Cameroon has already undertaken. The telco has invested over FCFA 138-billion since 2018 in a drive to further expand its coverage and improve service quality.

Njiti-Bongang added: “These heavy investments enable MTN Cameroon to cover a vast majority of the population, in the 10 regions of the country, and often well beyond the coverage requirements contained in the specifications stipulated in our Concession Agreement of 11 March 2015, amended on 04 May 2018.”

Thanks to the investments, MTN Cameroon now boost of 2G network which covers 97.35% of the country’s population. While its 3G network covers 87.58% of the population, its 4G network covers almost 60% of the population. The telco’s network also covers highways and sites considered as priority and strategic in its concession agreement.

MTN’s network is recognised by the international agencies Ookla and Rohde & Schwarz as being the fastest and most solid in Cameroon. As per the satisfaction index (NPS) realised by IPSOS among Cameroonian users, MTN also achieved the best performance ahead of Orange, Nexttel and Camtel, with often less than 10% detraction rate.

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