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Cameroon telcos establish association to secure bargaining power

Cameroon telcos establish association to secure bargaining power

Mobile telecommunications companies operating in Cameroon have collaborated to establish a representative organisation, the Cameroon Association of Telephone Mobile Operators (CATMO).

CATMO was recently established in the economic capital Douala and is spearheaded by Frederic Debord, General Manager of Orange Cameroun and Moise Bayi, General Manager of Viettel Cameroon (Nexttel).

CATMO is focused on the development of the local mobile telephony industry and encourages the sharing of information and good practices.

"The creation of this association is a step in the right direction. It shall be a platform of exchange and sharing amongst telecoms operators, regulators and regulatory authorities," said Debord, who serves as the organisation's president.

Debord explained that the organisation's core objective is to establish "a proper atmosphere of dialogue" amongst the regulatory body - Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB), and "all administrations and institutions involved in the electronic communication sector and its members", including the Cameroon Consumers' League.

Membership to CATMO is open to all operators holding a mobile telephone concession with the State of Cameroon. However, not all operators have signed up.

Massey Njiti Bongang, Corporate Communications Manager at MTN Cameroon, confirmed the company has not yet joined the organisation, but did not explain why.

Relations between local telecommunications services providers and the industry regulator has been strained, mostly due to issues including tariff plans, subscriber identification, network quality and installation.

Subscribers have also complained about network quality and coverage, tech offerings and relevant pricing.

MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroun, Viettel Cameroon (Nexttel) and Camtel (lone state-owned telco) operate in the country and collectively cover 20.1 million mobile phone subscribers, over 80% of the country's population.