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Cameroon grants licence to 3rd mobile phone operator

The Cameroonian government has licensed a third mobile phone operator, Viettel Cameroon, which is a subsidiary of Vietnam group, Viettel, which has approximately 60 million customers in Asia, Latin America and Africa, according to a statement from the Ministry of Post and Telecommunications.

Viettel Cameroon was granted operating lincence following tenders, on 28 May, from six bidders — Bharti Airtel (Kenya), Maroc Telecom (Morocco), Technology and Information System/Korea Telecom (Cameroon), Detecon/Deutsche Telecom (Germany), Monaco Telecom/ Cable, Wireless Communications (Monaco) and Portugal Telecom Sgps (Portugal).

According to the statement, Viettel Cameroon will invest nearly F CFA 200 billion to cover 81 per cent of the Cameroonian territory.

Before now, there were only two mobile phone operators — Orange Cameroon of the France Telecom Group and the Mobile Telephone Network (MTN) – Cameroon, a subsidiary of the South African group, MTN — in Cameroon.

MTN Cameroon has 54 per cent of the mobile phone market against 45 per cent for Orange Cameroon, according to official statistics issued in 2009.

Cameroonian mobile phone subscribers are estimated to be up to 20 million and tariff is pegged at about F CFA 100 per minute.

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