(Business in Cameroon) - On November 12, 2021, in Yaoundé, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications (Minpostel) Minette Libom Li Likeng and her Chadian peer Idriss Saleh Bachar signed a memorandum of understanding relating to the interconnection of Cameroonian and Chadian optical fiber transmission networks.
This memorandum is in fact a revised version of an agreement existing since 2011. Infact, the inter-connection of Chadian and Cameroonian optical fiber transmission networks has been operational since 2011 from the Gangui and Kousseri points of presence. Those communication links are extended towards the undersea cable landing sites of Kribi, Limbé and Douala, helping to provide connectivity services to Chadian operators like Sotel Tchad, Sudachad, SOS Telecom, Gilat, Bharti Airtel, and Prestabist.
The new memorandum is signed, following the introduction of a new optical fiber routing operator in the Chadian market. This arrival caused considerable changes in the market compelling Chadian authorities to review their agreements with international partners.
The new agreement replicates the terms of the old memorandum. Those terms are namely related to the technical, legal, and economic aspects of the interconnection, and the physical interconnection of the transmission networks. The terms are also related to mutual restoration avenues to secure the involved parties’ communication networks, routing Cameroon’s traffic to Chadian submarine cables, and reducing the cost of electronic communications.
Given the projected rise in the number of broadband operators in the Chadian market, this new memorandum will include the new operators connected to the optical fiber network. This could generate more revenues for Cameroon, which serves as a transit point for submarine cables serving Chad. Also, with this new agreement, the two countries plan to set up joint African and intercontinental optical networks projects.
"This memorandum, which is a considerable breakthrough in the subregional digital integration process, reflects the two Heads of State’s desire to provide their countries with a secure and interconnected fiber-optic network to increase digital access, boost regional integration and achieve harmonious and integrated development of economies in the sub-region. Technically, the memorandum defines the legal contours initiating the establishment of high-speed communications networks between Cameroon and Chad," the Minpostel said.