(Business in Cameroon) - First announced for the month of November 2016, then for 4 April 2017 by the Regulator of the telecommunications sector in Cameroon, the portability of numbers is still not effective to date. Yet, it concerns a measure that would allow service quality to subscribers to be improved, in so far as portability enables a subscriber dissatisfied with the quality of service offered by its original operator to migrate to a competitor deemed better, without having to change telephone number.
According to the government daily, which cites a source in the Technical Committee implementing portability, “the absence of a framework of regulatory texts of this activity is a major difficulty which remains at this stage”. On the technical level, we learn, the different telephone operators are ready at this time, in spite of delays observed in the deadline of 4 April in the training of their personnel or even in updating databases.
This project had passed a decisive stage on 31 January 2017 in Yaoundé, the Cameroonian capital, with the launch of activities of the Group of economic interest for the management of mobile portability in Cameroon (Groupement d’Intérêt Économique pour la Gestion de la Portabilité Mobile au Cameroun - GIE-PMC), made up of the operators MTN, Orange and Nexttel.
These three operators have been invited to invest a sum of FCfa 1.5 billion in the installation of a centralised database, in order to manage portability of mobile numbers in Cameroon. Since 2015, the contract for the provision, installation and operation of this infrastructure has been awarded by the Telecoms Regulator to Chinese equipment manufacturer Huawei. The timeframe of work had been limited to seven months.
Brice R. Mbodiam