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Cameroon - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Cameroon - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Market Insights and Statistics

Orange and MTN expand 3G services to compete in the mobile data market

Cameroon was for many years one of only a few countries in Africa with only two competing mobile operators, MTN and Orange. After various delays, Nextell Cameroon launched a third network in late 2014, including the country's first 3G mobile service. MTN and Orange both launched 3G services in March 2015, and their investment commitments suggest an aggressive roll-out of mobile data services during the next three years, which will considerable boost mobile broadband services in many areas of the country. The re-entry into the mobile market by the fixed-line incumbent Camtel, through its Camtel Mobile division, was delayed by controversy regarding its licence, but a recent vendor agreement will see voice and data services launched commercially later in 2015.

The result of the restrictive market structure has been a mobile market penetration rate below the regional 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 (ARPU) 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.

Camtel was allowed to monopolise access to the SAT-3/WASC international fibre optic submarine cable until 2012. This had led to high prices and a grey market of unlicensed satellite gateway operators offering internet access and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) services. This has begun to change, following the connection to the WACS cable. A new spur being built will finally connect the country to the ACE cable later in 2015. A major expansion program for a national fibre backbone network is also underway with funding from the Word Bank and China.

Estimated market penetration rates in Cameroon's telecoms sector end-2015 (e)
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 81%
Fixed/fixed-wireless | 5%
Internet | 7%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Key developments:

Nextell reports having signed up two million customers since launching services in September 2014;
Government builds landing point and 650km spur cable to connect to the ACE cable;
Camtel contracts Huawei to develop GSM network;
MTN Cameroon equips 800 base stations with solar panels;
Camtel begins constructing a fibre link between Limbe and Batoke, to connect to the WACS submarine cable;
MTN and Orange launch 3G services;
Government announces plans to build two Internet exchange Points;
National fibre rollout continues with new funding;
Cameroon Railways looks to set up an independent fibre optic network linking rail stations;
Report update includes regulator's market data to September 2014, telcos' operating data to Q1 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

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 Mobile number portability (MNP)
4.10 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
6.1.5 Ceiba-2
6.2 Terrestrial fibre
6.2.1 Central African Backbone (CAB)
6.2.2 Internet Exchange Points (IXPs)
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 Nextell Cameroon (Viettel)
9.4 Camtel Mobile
9.5 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
9.6 Mobile data services
9.7 GSM
9.8 3G
9.9 4G (LTE)
9.10 M-payment and m-banking
9.11 M-health
9.12 Satellite mobile
10. Forecasts
10.1 Forecasts mobile market 2015; 2018
10.1.1 Notes on scenario forecasts
11. Related reports
Table 1 Country statistics Cameroon 2014
Table 2 Fixed-line network statistics 2015 (e)
Table 3 Internet provider statistics 2015 (e)
Table 4 Internet and social media user statistics 2015 (e)
Table 5 Mobile statistics 2015 (e)
Table 6 National telecommunications authority
Table 7 Camtel fixed lines in services 2012 - 2014
Table 8 Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity 1995 - 2004
Table 9 Fixed and fixed-wireless lines in service and teledensity 2005 - 2015
Table 10 Historic - Internet users and penetration rate 1997 - 2004
Table 11 Internet users and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 12 VoIP subscribers by operator 2005 - 2014
Table 13 Fixed-line broadband subscribers 2005 - 2015
Table 14 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 1998 - 2004
Table 15 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2005 - 2015
Table 16 MTN Cameroon ARPU 2003 - 2015
Table 17 MTN Cameroon financial data 2011 - 2014
Table 18 MTN Cameroon subscribers 2012 - 2015
Table 19 Orange CM mobile subscribers 2012 - 2015
Table 20 Orange CM revenue 2012 - 2015
Table 21 Orange CM annualised ARPU 2012 - 2015
Table 22 Forecast mobile subscribers 2015; 2018
Chart 1 Fixed and fixed-wireless lines in service and teledensity 2005 2015
Chart 2 Internet users and penetration rate 2005 2015
Chart 3 Mobile subscribers and penetration rate 2002 - 2015

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