(Business in Cameroon) - In Cameroon, the telecommunication operators MTN, Orange and Nexttel invested CFA1.5 billion for the construction (by Huawei) of an infrastructure which should help implement the project on mobile number portability.
Effective since September 1, 2017, many people did not adopt this facility offered to subscribers to move from an operator to the other without changing their sim cards. In the capital city, for instance, many subscribers confess that they do not know what mobile number portability means or how to do it. The few who knew said that they did not dare try it fearing additional costs.
The telecommunications regulatory agency ART which initiated the project is concerned, this is due to the lack of awareness.
“The only problem is that we did not have many funds to sensitize citizens as we would like”, Eric Sindeu, technical director of ART, explained to the government daily.
However, even though the lack of awareness and communication could explain the fact that most Cameroonians disregard this concept, there are sociological and technical factors as well.
According to an expert, the sociological factor is that having many phones and sim cards is a sign of prestige in Cameroon. They thus prefer keeping their multiple sim cards since most of them have at least two sim cards and phones.
At the technical level, most of the mobile phones sold in the country are dual sim. There are even some phones with three sim cards. In addition, a telecommunications expert informs that the regulations on portability only allow the migration from only one operator to the other per subscriber every year. This does not offer the flexibility citizens would want.
Brice R. Mbodiam