Cameroon’s digital economy experiencing strong growth – R&M

Cameroon’s digital economy experiencing strong growth – R&M

The ICT sector in Cameroon is making steady progress enabling the country to make better use of the digital economy, reports Research & Markets.

Cameroon was for many years one of the few countries in Africa with only two competing mobile operators. After some delays, Nextell Cameroon (majority-owned by Viettel) launched a third network in late 2014, including the country's first 3G mobile service. The operator has grown rapidly, signing up more than 4.89 million subscribers by late 2018 and launching a mobile money offering.

LTE services have also developed strongly, with Orange Cameroon securing revised concessions to its existing 3G licence to enable it to launch LTE services and so compete more effectively with MTN. These developments were the catalyst for a fast-developing mobile broadband sector. The investment programs among operators over the next few years will considerably boost mobile broadband services in rural areas of the country, many of which are underserved by fixed-line infrastructure.

Further development is quickening in mobile banking and commerce, with Nextell having launched its own m-money service in late 2018. Currently, about 95% of all electronic transactions are carried through the m-money services operated by MTN Cameroon and Orange Cameroon.

The government is supporting this transition via initiatives such as the Cameroon Digital 2020 program, which aims to improve connectivity nationally via both large-scale and smaller ICT projects. New funding has been procured for the ongoing national fibre rollout.

By September 2018 the SAIL submarine cable had been laid, providing a direct link to Brazil and with onward connectivity to other countries in the Americas. The cable will substantially improve international bandwidth and lead to further reductions in access prices for consumers.

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