Viettel seeks to extend 3G exclusivity

7 Apr 2014

Viettel Cameroon, which was announced as the winner of the country’s third mobile licence in December 2012 but has yet to launch commercial operations, has asked the government to extend its monopoly on the provision of 3G services. Business in Cameroon cites local weekly publication Reperes as saying that Viettel’s 3G exclusivity is set to expire in December 2014, but the company is not expected to launch services until September, due to a now-resolved dispute between shareholders Viettel Group of Vietnam and Cameroon-based Bestinver Asset Management. According to the report, Viettel is seeking to extend its 3G exclusivity to 2016, a move which is likely to be criticised by the country’s two existing mobile operators, Orange and MTN Cameroon, which are seeking permission to offer their own 3G services once their current operating concessions expire, in July 2014 and February 2015, respectively.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that the 70/30 joint venture between Viettel and Bestinver beat off rival bids from the likes of Maroc Telecom, Indian telecoms group Bharti Airtel and Technologie et Systeme d’information for the licence, after pledging to invest nearly XAF200 billion (USD400 million) in the rollout of a mobile network that will cover 81% of Cameroon’s territory from launch.

Cameroon, Viettel Cameroon (Nexttel)