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Cameroon - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Last updated: 20 Apr 2020 Update History

Report Pages: 114

Cameroon increases internet bandwidth with SAIL cable

The ICT sector in Cameroon is making steady progress enabling the country to make better use of the digital economy. Currently, about 95% of all electronic transactions are carried through the m-money services operated by MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroon. The government has also been supportive, having launched its ‘Cameroon Digital 2020’ program, aimed at improving connectivity nationally. A large number of small ICT projects form part of the overall program. By September 2018 the SAIL submarine cable had been laid, providing a direct link to Brazil and with onward connectivity to other countries in the Americas. The cable will substantially improve international bandwidth and lead to further reductions in access prices for consumers.

Cameroon was for many years one of the few countries in Africa with only two competing mobile operators. After some delays, Nextell Cameroon (majority-owned by Viettel) launched a third network in late 2014, including the country’s first 3G mobile service. The operator has grown rapidly, signing up more than 4.89 million subscribers by late 2018. LTE services have also developed strongly, with Orange Cameroon securing revised concessions to its existing 3G licence to enable it to launch LTE services and so compete more effectively with MTN. These developments were the catalyst for a fast-developing mobile broadband sector. The investment programs among operators over the next few years will considerably boost mobile broadband services in rural areas of the country, many of which are underserved by fixed-line infrastructure.

Further development is quickening in mobile banking and commerce, with Nextell having launched its own m-money service in late 2018.

BuddeComm notes that the outbreak of the Coronavirus in 2020 is having a significant impact on production and supply chains globally. During the coming year the telecoms sector to various degrees is likely to experience a downturn in mobile device production, while it may also be difficult for network operators to manage workflows when maintaining and upgrading existing infrastructure. Overall progress towards 5G may be postponed or slowed down in some countries.

On the consumer side, spending on telecoms services and devices is under pressure from the financial effect of large-scale job losses and the consequent restriction on disposable incomes. However, the crucial nature of telecom services, both for general communication as well as a tool for home-working, will offset such pressures. In many markets the net effect should be a steady though reduced increased in subscriber growth.

Although it is challenging to predict and interpret the long-term impacts of the crisis as it develops, these have been acknowledged in the industry forecasts contained in this report.

The report also covers the responses of the telecom operators as well as government agencies and regulators as they react to the crisis to ensure that citizens can continue to make optimum use of telecom services. This can be reflected in subsidy schemes and the promotion of tele-health and tele-education, among other solutions.

Key developments:

  • Camtel contracts SatADSL for satellite broadband services;
  • Cable laying for the SAIL cable system to Brazil is completed;
  • Telecom revenue increases 3.3% in 2017, year-on-year;
  • Orange Cameroon expands LTE services;
  • Nextell Cameroon launches m-money service;
  • MNOs fined for SIM card registration failures;
  • National fibre rollout continues with new funding;
  • Report update includes regulator's market report for 2017, telcos' operating data to Q4 2018, Telecom Maturity Index tables, charts and analyses, assessment of the global impact of COVID-19 on the telecoms sector, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroon, Camtel, Cameroon Mobile Telecommunications (CMT), Pastel, CamNet, MTN Network Solutions, Matrix Telecoms, Ringo, Nextell Cameroon (Viettel), YooMee.

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