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 Monday, 14 January 2008

APA Douala (Cameroon). Over five million Cameroonians or more than 40 percent of the population have access to fixed and mobile telephony, the Telecoms regulatory agency (ART) revealed Thursday.

These are the aggregated figures as of 31 December 2007 from the country's three telecoms operators - the state-owned fixed and cellular operator Cameroon Telecommunication (CAMTEL), as well as French Orange and South Africa's Mobile Telephon Network (MTN), two multinational outfits specialising in mobile telephony.

ART director Jean-Louis Beh Mengue said "the migration to 8-digit numbers six months ago opened new prospects for the development of telecommunications in Cameroon."

The new numbering scheme, which has a capacity of 80 million lines, is expected remain operational until 2030.

ART said other entrants could join the markets, especially in the mobile sector.

The regulator aims at streamlining the market with sanctions on illegal V-SAT operators.

A 2008 action plan prioritises the launch of a space segment, infrastructure mutualisation, as well as reduced costs of telecoms.

Currently, a minute's call costs an average 180 CFA francs, with 200 CFA francs in peak hours and 160 CFA francs during low traffic, while SMS messages remain unchanged at 60 CFA francs.

Sources said the number of cellular subscribers is 5 million, against 400,000 fixed line registered users.

Source Cellular News.