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Cameroon - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Third mobile licence finally awarded, including 3G

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Cameroon’s telecommunications market.

Subjects covered include:

Key statistics;
Market and industry overviews;
The growth potential of the country’s mobile market;
Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
Infrastructure development;
Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).
Internet and broadband development and growth;
Mobile data services and pricing;
Average revenue per user.

Cameroon’s third mobile licence was finally approved in June 2013. Vietnam’s Viettel will roll out the country’s first 3G network. Prior to this, Cameroon was one of only a few countries in Africa left with only two competing mobile networks, MTN and Orange. The re-entry into the mobile market by fixed-line incumbent Camtel as the third player has been delayed by controversy regarding its licence.

The result of the restrictive market structure has been a mobile market penetration rate below the African average and also below that of other countries with similar GDP per capita levels. Fixed-line penetration is extremely low, and the privatisation of Camtel’s fixed-line business has failed several times.

Mirroring a trend throughout developing markets, the average revenue per user in Cameroon’s mobile sector has fallen continuously as lower income groups gain access to services. The operators are developing new revenue streams from the virtually untapped Internet and broadband market by introducing mobile data and WiMAX wireless broadband services, as well as mobile banking services.

Until recently, Camtel was allowed to monopolise access to the SAT-3/WASC international fibre optic submarine cable, which has led to high prices and a grey market of unlicensed satellite gateway operators offering Internet access and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. This is set to change following the arrival of two new international cables in 2012. A major expansion program for a national fibre backbone network is underway with funding from the Word Bank and China.

Market highlights:

Third mobile licence finally awarded, including 3G;
Major tower outsourcing deals;
New competition in international fibre bandwidth;
Significant improvements in national fibre backbone infrastructure;
All major players have adopted WiMAX as broadband access technology.

Estimated market penetration rates in Cameroon’s telecoms sector – end 2013
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 69%
Fixed/fixed-wireless | 3.6%
Internet | 6.6%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies covered in this report:

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


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
3. Overview of Cameroon’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Sector reorganisation and liberalisation
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.2.1 Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications (ART)
4.3 Licensing
4.4 Interconnection
4.5 International gateways
4.6 National backbone infrastructure
4.7 Universal Access Fund (UAF)
4.8 SIM card registration
4.9 Fines
5. Fixed-line operators in Cameroon
5.1 Camtel
5.1.1 Privatisation
5.1.2 Network infrastructure
5.1.3 National fibre backbone
5.1.4 Wireless local loop (WLL)
5.1.5 Fixed-line statistics
5.2 Pastel
6. International infrastructure
6.1 Submarine cables
6.1.1 SAT-3/WASC submarine fibre optic cable
6.1.2 WACS
6.1.3 ACE
6.1.4 Main One
6.2 Terrestrial fibre
6.2.1 Central African Backbone (CAB)
6.3 VSAT
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Cameroon’s ISP market
7.2.1 CamNet
7.2.2 MTN Network Solutions (MTN NS)
7.2.3 Orange
7.2.4 Matrix Telecoms
7.2.5 Ringo
7.2.6 Other ISPs
7.3 Public access locations
7.4 VoIP
8. Broadband market
8.1 ADSL
8.2 Wireless broadband
8.2.1 WiMAX
8.2.2 WiFi
8.2.3 EV-DO
9. Mobile communications
9.1 Overview of Cameroon’s mobile market
9.1.1 Mobile statistics
9.2 Major mobile operators
9.2.1 MTN Cameroon
9.2.2 Orange CM
9.3 Third mobile licence (Viettel)
9.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
9.5 Mobile data services
9.6 3G
9.7 M-payment and m-banking
9.8 Satellite mobile
10. Forecasts
10.1 Forecasts – mobile market – 2014; 2017
10.1.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
11. Related reports
Table 1 – Country statistics Cameroon – 2013
Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2013
Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2013
Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2013
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2013
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity – 1995 - 2014
Table 8 – Internet users and penetration rate – 1997 - 2014
Table 9 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1998 - 2013
Table 10 – Mobile subscribers by operator and annual change – March 2013
Table 11 – MTN Cameroon ARPU – 2003 - 2013
Table 12 – Forecast mobile subscribers – 2014; 2017
Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 2002 - 2013

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