The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications has drawn up a shortlist of seven companies set to take part in the upcoming tender for Cameroon’s third mobile network operator licence. The Cameroon Tribune has named the seven firms as: Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel, which acquired the majority of Kuwait-based Zain’s African assets in June 2010; Monaco Telecom; Vietnamese military-run Viettel, which also operates in Cambodia, Laos, Haiti and Mozambique, and holds licences in Peru and Timor-Leste; Maroc Telecom, part of the Vivendi Group; Portuguese telecoms group Portugal Telecom; Deutsche Telekom (Detecon); and Technologie et Systeme d’information/Korea Telecom. Cameroon’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. 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 12.14 million wireless customers at the end of June 2012, according to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. At the same date, penetration of cellular services stood at around 58% of the population.