Cameroon: 3G Licensing and New MVNO to Boost Competition and Mobile Data Revenue
Revenue in the Cameroonian telecom market will grow over the forecast period to a total of $1.8bn by 2018, driven in part by increased mobile data consumption. The entry of a new MVNO in 2012 and the award of a third MNO license to Viettel will shake up the landscape, although the deployment of undersea cables could help Orange and MTN reduce Viettels impact by improving the quality of their service and their mobile broadband offerings. On the fiber-optic backbone side, there are still 4,000km to be built as part of the national broadband network plan.
We expect mobile voice service to generate 71% of total telecom revenue in Cameroon in 2018. The intensified competition from the new MVNO SetMobile will contribute to mobile voice revenue, which is expected to grow at a CAGR of 7% over the forecast period. However, with the recent 3G license awarded to Viettel, data services will also be an increasingly important source of revenue. Mobile data will likely be embraced by many Cameroonians, who have been waiting for 3G services for a long time. With demand for data on the rise, we anticipate that mobile data revenue will grow at a CAGR of 26% through the end of the forecast period, faster than voice, to reach $253m by 2018. Mobile broadband adoption will be the primary driver. Revenue in the fixed segment is projected to reach $282m by 2018. Growth will be mainly due to the expansion of existing WiMAX networks and the deployment of a 10,000km fiber-optic backbone cable to be completed by 2015. Moreover, the landings and technical launches of the WACS (May 2012) and the expected ACE and Main One undersea cables should reduce overall telecom tariffs, benefiting the population given that the nominal GDP per capita in 2012 was estimated to be just $1,267.