Households and business in Douala are set to enjoy new services and applications based on high speed broadband internet following the launch of a 50km fibre-optic ring in Cameroon’s largest city. The Cameroon Tribune reports that the XAF3 billion (USD5.8 million) network, which was entirely funded by the country’s Telecommunications Special Fund, will dramatically increase bandwidth and pave the way for a range of new services such as video conferencing, video surveillance, e-government, e-banking, e-learning and e-health. Raphael Nlend, director of planning and development at the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, said the optical fibre loop was designed to respond to the needs of the country’s telecoms operators, internet service providers (ISPs), companies and households. ‘With the bandwidth moving from 2Mbps to 10Gbps, the current capacity will be multiplied a thousand fold to offer best quality-price equation to companies and households.’ The new infrastructure, which was installed by Huawei Technologies and Avilyos, forms part of the government’s plan to roll out fibre-optic networks in the country’s largest cities. Work on another fibre-optic loop is expected to begin in the capital Yaounde during 2012.