Cameroon to increase telephone digits in November
| Oct. 20, 2014, 6:55 p.m.
By Issa Sikiti da Silva, Cameroon
The number of telephone digits in Cameroon will be increased from eight to nine come 21 November 2014, the telecoms regulator, l’Agence de Régulation des Télécommunications (ART), announced recently at a press briefing.
ART said the nationwide change will affect all telephony operators (landline and mobile) in Cameroon, namely CAMTEL, Orange, MTN and Viettel.
Government-controlled CAMTEL, which is the country’s landline monopoly operator, has been awarded the fourth cellphone licence and is set to enter the market in 2015 through its mobile division CMT.
The telecommunications sector in this Central African nation of 20 million people has been undergoing a major shake-up in the past two years, and many observers believe this change could part of the reforms being undertaken by the government of Paul Biya to restructure and open up the sector’s space.
The decision to increase the digits aims at positioning and ‘securing’ the country as the number of telephone subscribers keeps growing considerably since 1999, the regulator said.
There are currently some 16 million telephone subscribers in Cameroon, according to the latest figures released by ART.
This means that a saturation and a depletion have occurred in the area of number ranges allocated by operator. Therefore, this needed a complete review, the regulator said.
This change is the third to be made in Cameroon in the past 13 years, according to a document released by ART to the press.
The first was made in 2001 when the number passed from six to seven, and the second in 2007 when it went up to eight.