“(Business in Cameroon) - Dear customers, service disruptions will be experienced as a result of an incident on the WACS and SAT3 submarine cables. Teams are working to restore it.” This message was broadcasted since January 17 by Cameroon Telecommunications (Camtel), the Cameroonian public telecoms operator in charge of management of the optical fibre.
Since then and up to the time of writing this news, the Internet has been experiencing serious disruptions in the country. Even today January 20, Orange Cameroon confirmed again that “there is still instability in data services and Orange Money [Mobile Money] due to a cut of the submarine cables.” The impact is being felt across borders and in neighboring countries in Central Africa.
The Democratic Republic of Congo's Postal and Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (ARPTC) reported, on January 16, that "the DRC experienced a cut in internet access (...) at around 10 a.m. This failure is due to a cut of the WACS cable in Limbe, Cameroon. The countries affected are those connected to WACS from Cameroon namely Cameroon, Gabon, Congo-Brazzaville, and the DRC.”
The next day, ARPTC announced that DRC was carrying out redundant connection work with Angola-WACS South. Hence the gradual resumption of the Congolese network.
With a fibre optics network officially estimated at 10,000 km, two operational submarine cable landing points (WACS and SAT 3), and two others under construction or being operated (NCSCS and ACE), “Cameroon is establishing itself (...) as a hub for telecommunications infrastructure in Central Africa,” according to MTN Cameroon.