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Cameroon telcos make fresh pledge to fix network hurdles

By , Freelance Investigative Journalist
Cameroon , 28 Apr 2023
Cameroon telecom officials with the minister.
Cameroon telecom officials with the minister.

In response to this week's protests over quality of service from mobile network operators in Cameroon, Camtel, MTN and Orange have been ordered by government to immediately address the concerns.

The minister of posts and telecommunications Minette Libom Li Likeng announced the decision yesterday after a crisis meeting he had with telcos.

On Tuesday, subscribers across the country switched their devices to “Flight Mode” between 12pm and 2pm to express their displeasure with services rendered by telcos.

The aggrieved subscribers claim they have raised concerns since last year, as they have been experiencing prolonged network disruptions.

As a result, yesterday the telcos made the fresh pledge to address the concerns during the meeting chaired by minister Libom.

The consultation with the telcos was also attended by the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB).

The telecoms minister called on the telcos to enhance quality of service without further delay, saying the government is committed to ensure “every Cameroonian enjoys reliable, equitable, affordable and non-discriminatory access to mobile connectivity”.

During the meeting, each operator presented plans to improve quality of service in terms of coverage, pricing and investment.

On its part, the telecoms regulator presented initiatives undertaken to ensure compliance with respect to specifications by the operators – initiatives which include regular network quality checks.

Going forward, the mobile network operators are required to systematically inform their subscribers of the uplink and downlink speed corresponding to their subscribed data plan.

The telcos have also been ordered to put in place, within two weeks, mechanisms to automatically restore data credit which is not used in the event of network unavailability.

As another short-term measure to improve the mobile network experience, consumers will have at their disposal a comparative tool of the tariff offers, coverage and performance of the network of each operator.

Also, during the meeting, minister Libom urged TRB to hasten the reorganisation process of the electronic communications market and restructure wholesale and retail costs in a bid to lower prices and stimulate competition among operators.

“The state will always remain on the side of the population, to ensure their protection in terms of the provision of electronic communications services by the operators, all of which justify the establishment of effective strategies and policies, for the generalized and equitable adoption of said services, and a harmonious and inclusive development of digital technology in our country,” Libom said.

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