The Cameroon government has confirmed that it has received numerous bids from leading international telecom operators for the country’s third mobile phone license.
According to local reports, India’s Bharti Airtel, Korea Telecom, Maroc Telecom and Viettel have all submitted bids. The government has said that all those bidding have put forward over $200 million.
The latest development follows the withdrawal of a number of companies from the process, including Deutsche Telekom, Portugal Telecom and Monaco Telecom/C&W Communications, leaving room for competitor operators to enter the market.
The telecommunications ministry has until November 19 to analyze the bids and choose the company for the second phase.
Cameroon’s current mobile operators are Orange Cameroon and MTN Cameroon. They also share the phone market with fixed incumbent Camtel.
The government said it hoped that the entry of new operator – who will be allowed to go live at some point in 2013 - will boost competition, resulting in lower prices, and also enhance local telecommunications infrastructure.