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Mobile broadband boosts competition in Cameroon’s telecoms sector

Cameroon’s telecoms landscape is changing considerably, thanks to the entry of a new Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) and the award of the first 3G licence in the country, according to a new report from Pyramid Research.

The report, ‘Cameroon: 3G Licensing and New MVNO to Boost Competition and Mobile Data Revenue’, offers a precise profile of the country’s telecommunications, media and technology sectors based on proprietary data from Pyramid’s research in the market.

In addition, it provides a detailed competitive analysis of both the fixed and mobile sectors, tracks the market shares of technologies and services and monitors the introduction and spread of new technologies.

“The telecoms market in Cameroon was a duopoly of mobile services for many years, but recent activities have changed this configuration,” said Ousmane Yatera, analyst at Pyramid Research.

In July 2012, Samuel Eto’o, a Cameroonian soccer player, finally launched a new MVNO, called Set’Mobile.

Pyramid Research estimated that the company had 200,000 customers in 2012, although its tariffs were not really competitive compared with its competitors.

Expecting mobile voice service to generate 71 percent of total telecoms revenue in Cameroon in 2018, Pyramid Research said the intensified competition from the new MVNO Set’Mobile will contribute to mobile voice revenue, which is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 7 percent over the forecast period.

Also, Viettel, starting in 2014, is expected to disrupt the market due to its distinctive advantage of being the first to offer 3G in Cameroon.

“Moreover, the company plans to cover 81 percent of its network prior to the launch. Pyramid Research predicts Viettel will reach 9.8 percent share by 2018,“ Yatera noted.

The report on Cameroon’s telecoms services is part of Pyramid Research’s Africa and the Middle East Intelligence Report Series.

According to Pyramid Research, which analyses the competitive landscapes in global communications, mobile data would likely be embraced by many Cameroonians, who have been waiting for 3G services for a long time.

With mobile broadband adoption being the primary driver and demand for data on the rise, the report said: “We anticipate that mobile data revenue will grow at a CAGR of 26 percent through the end of the forecast period, faster than voice, to reach US$ 253 million by 2018”, when revenue in the fixed segment is projected to reach US$ 282 million.

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 West African Cable System (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 US$ 1,267.

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