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CEO Weekends: Viettel Cameroon Request A 3G Contract Extention

by Caroline Vutagwa
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Viettel Cameroon has requested the government to extend its 3G monopoly. It happens that the telecommunication company has exclusive rights to the 3G monopoly for upon December 2014 as according to the contract they had signed with the government in December 2013.

However, Viettel Cameroon which had postponed its opening twice will not be in business until September 2014, which is only three months before its 3G monopoly expires; now, Viettel Cameroon heads are seeking to convince the Cameroonian government to have the exclusivity clause be applicable “after the start of business” instead of counting from the date the contract was signed. If the Cameroonian government acquiesces, this would extend the period of 3G exclusivity to 2016.

The monopoly has been severely criticized by MTN and Orange, the two other mobile telephone companies in Cameroon.

The request could not have come at a worse time as the 15-year concession contract signed July 7, 1999 by the Cameroonian government and Orange will come to an end in July 2014. The two parties will therefore be negotiating a new contract which will no doubt include the granting of a 3G licence in light of the criticism levied by the mobile telephone company when Viettel Cameroon received exclusive rights to 3G technology.

Before the actual expiration and the opening of negotiations for a new concession contract, the Cameroonian subsidiary of the South-African giant, by way of its Managing Director, Karl Toriola, has already announced that it has presented the Cameroonian government with a request for a 3G licence.

During his recent media appearances, MTN Cameroon’s Managing Director even announced that the company was prepared to invest up to 600 billion FCfa if the government would grant it the 3G licence. These are the details that are certain to grab the Cameroonian government’s attention before it respond to Viettel Cameroon’s request to have its 3G exclusivity extended.

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