Cameroon has renewed the operating licence of Africa’s largest telecoms provider MTN, and allowed the firm to start offering third and fourth generation (3G and 4G) services, MTN said on Wednesday.
South Africa’s MTN, Cameroon’s leading mobile provider with nearly 10 million subscribers or about 60 percent of the market, said it paid 75 billion CFA Francs ($125 million) for the licence which also allows it to deploy optical fibre cables.
The licence was renewed for 15 years until February 2030, MTN said in a statement.
Karl Toriola, MTN Cameroon’s CEO, said the group would aim to improve Cameroon’s telecommunications sector.
MTN and its rival Orange, a subsidiary of France’s Orange – have been in negotiations with the government over the renewal of their licences and clearance to offer 3G and 4G services which could increase internet penetration and data usage, buoying their revenues.
The firm said it plans to invest 4,400 billion CFA francs ($7.36 billion) during the course of the licence period to improve its network, adding that its 3G and 4G network will be available in 16 towns in Cameroon by the first year of operation and will cover at least 75 percent of the population by 2018.
Orange was expected to sign a deal with the government in the coming days, sources told Reuters on Tuesday.