A number of international telecoms companies are in talks with Cameroon’s telecommunications ministry to purchase the country’s third mobile operator licence, Dow Jones reports, citing an interview with telecommunications minister Jean Pierre Biyiti bi Essam in local newspaper Cameroon Tribune. Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, Monaco Telecom and Vietnamese military-owned operator Viettel are among the firm’s interested in acquiring the Cameroon concession, according to the report. Essam revealed that the Ministere des Postes et des Telecommunications was in the final phase of negotiations with interested parties, but declined to confirm when the winning bidder would be chosen. The winning bidder will join two established companies in the mobile market – South Africa-based MTN Cameroon and France’s Orange Cameroon – which between them claimed around 9.97 million wireless customers at the end of September 2011, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. Alongside the pair of network operators, around 60 other licensees are authorised to resell telephone traffic for Cameroon’s existing mobile network operators under their own brands.