All things being equal, Cameroonians will soon have a third mobile telephone operator to add to the two that offer diverse services in the country. Members of the steering committee examining the four bids of companies vying for the licence have barely one week to study the different files and present its report. But who are these four aspirants from which one would be chosen to bag the coveted licence for the third operator expected to engender competition which could result in improved service delivery and why not a reduced cost of mobile telephone services?
Bharti Airtel Limited
According to its website, Bharti Airtel Limited is a leading integrated telecommunications company with operations in 20 countries across Asia and Africa. Headquartered in New Delhi, India, the company ranks amongst the top five mobile service providers globally in terms of subscribers. In India, the company's product offerings include 2G, 3G and 4G services, fixed line, high speed broadband, enterprise services including national and international long distance services to carriers. In the rest of the geographies, it offers 2G and 3G mobile services. Statistics show that Bharti Airtel had over 246 million customers across its operations at the end of February 2012.
It is the main telecommunication company in Morocco. Records show that it is one of the most profitable phone operators in Africa with revenue of 2.2 Billion Euros during the first nine months of 2012. Its network covers 97 per cent of the Moroccan population with over 12.5 million customers in Mali, Gabon, Burkina Faso and Mauritania. Morocco Telecom reportedly counted 33 million customers at the end of October 2012.
Technologie et Système d'information
Created in 1981 and privatised in 2002, Technologie et Système d'information; is a South Korean outfit specialised in mobile telephone. The company also installs telecommunication networks and high functional internet in South Korea. Records show that the company has a sizeable part of the telecommunications market in the country.
Viettel Cameroun Sarl
Viettel Cameroun Sarl of Viettel Group is a Vietnamese major mobile telephone operator with headquarters in Hanoi, Vietnam. It is a State company wholly owned and operated by the country's Ministry of Defence. Viettel Mobile is reportedly the fourth network in Vietnam (after Mobifone, Vinaphone and S-fone) and currently the biggest telecommunications provider, contributing 40.37 per cent to the total mobile communication market in the country. It is said to have successfully developed and popularised telecom services in Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Haiti, Mozambique and Peru.