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Vietnamese military owned Viettel ‘postpones’ Cameroon launch

Vietnamese military owned Viettel ‘postpones’ Cameroon launch.

Vietnamese military owned mobile operator Viettel has again postponed a plan to launch in Cameroon, according to a report.

Viettel planned to launch in the West African country in late 2013 but then rescheduled its start to March 2014.

However, the latter plan has now reportedly been pushed forward to by “three or four months”, according to a report from Agence Ecofin.

“We have had a lot of problems. Rain in some areas slowed down construction, land titles were needed for some plots where antennae will be installed and we had to negotiate with chiefs. However, we are in the process of resolving these challenges,” Moïse Bayi, managing director of Viettel Cameroun, reportedly said.

Viettel won Cameroon’s third mobile licence in December 2012 with exclusive rights to roll-out a 3G network.

Cameroon’s granting of the third licence came after a period of prolonged lack of competition in the country’s telecoms market.

“Prior to this, Cameroon was one of only a few countries in Africa left with only two competing mobile networks, MTN and Orange. The re-entry into the mobile market by fixed-line incumbent Camtel as the third player has been delayed by controversy regarding its licence,” says BuddeComm research on its country profile of Cameroon.

According to BuddeComm, Cameroon had a mobile penetration rate of 69% at the end of 2013. Cameroon has a population of 21.7 million, according to the World Bank.

Other African markets where the Vietnamese ministry of defence-owned Viettel operates includes Mozambique, where it now operates under the Movitel banner.

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