Lewes, DE -- (SBWIRE) -- 04/28/2014 -- Cameroon is one of only a few countries in Africa left with only two competing mobile operators, MTN and Orange. After various delays, Vietnam's Viettel is expected to launch the third network in September 2014, including the country's first 3G mobile service. The re-entry into the mobile market by fixed-line incumbent Camtel has been delayed by controversy regarding its licence. In the meantime, a wireless ISP is rolling out Cameroon's first 4G/LTE network.
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 (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, 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 beginning to change, following the arrival of two new international cables, WACS and ACE. A major expansion program for a national fibre backbone network is underway with funding from the Word Bank and China.
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- Third mobile network launch delayed, including 3G
- First LTE network preparing to launch
- New MVNOs amidst failures of others
- National fibre rollout continues with new funding
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