Mobile operator Orange Cameroun has announced it will cut call rates within the next few months, or even weeks, according to allAfrica.com. The cellco’s general manager, Philippe Luxcey, told journalists at a recent Yaounde press conference that the country’s mobile tariffs have been kept high by operational costs, which cover the use of expensive generators to get around the problems of an inadequate electricity network and satellite links made necessary by unreliable national infrastructure. However, he added that now that Orange had made extensive initial outlays to improve its GSM network coverage and quality of service, it had reached a point where it could consider giving its users better value for money. Luxcey reported that Orange had doubled its pre-paid network capacity over the last few months, but was still experiencing service problems ‘beyond its control’, such as network failure due to intermittent power supply disruptions. The company has earmarked XAF40 billion (EUR61.5 million) for network development in 2006, including increasing the number of base stations by 40%. Orange Cameroun also plans a commercial launch of GPRS data services in the first quarter of the year.
At the end of September 2005 Orange Cameroun was in second place in the mobile market with 889,000 subscribers, behind MTN Cameroon with 1.129 million.