An upcoming tender for Cameroon’s third mobile network operator licence has attracted interest from nine potential bidders, the Cameroon Tribune cites a statement from the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications as saying. A government committee is expected to draw up a shortlist of the pre-qualified applicants within two weeks, after which bidding for the new licence will be opened. The country’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean-Pierre Biyiti bi Essam, called for expressions of interest for the concession, which includes frequencies for the operation of a 3G network, in May this year. Applicants must not already be active in Cameroon and are required to have equity of at least USD200 million as of 31 December 2011. The winning bidder will join two established companies in the mobile market – South Africa-based MTN Cameroon and France Telecom’s local unit Orange Cameroon – which between them claimed around 11.37 million wireless customers at the end of March 2012, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. At the same date, penetration of cellular services stood at around 50% of the population.