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Posts and Telecommunications and ICTs Sector
The review of policies carried out and Cameroon’s set objectives as concerns Telecommunications is divided into three main periods since independence: from 1960 to 1988, from 1988 to 1998 and from 1998 till date.
The main characteristic of policies put in place and set objectives from one period to the other is breaking off. Breaking off in the strategic view of the domain and in the policy of strategic management of the domain. Let us succinctly re-visit this historical declension of Telecommunications in
During this period, the Department of Telecommunications of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications had ensured until 1970 the bulk of regulation and telegraphy, telex, Morse and telephony operation missions.
To meet the demands of human resources development, the State created in 1969 the National Advanced School of Posts and Telecommunications (NASPT).
To meet the increase of international traffic and benefit from new technological capacities superior to those set up in Cameroon till date, the State created in 1972, the company, International Telecommunications of Cameroon (INTELCAM), which would operate under the system of public company and set forth the separation of domestic Telecommunications operation from international ones. Standard A Parabolic antennae were therefore deployed to Zamengoe (1972) and Bépanda (1986).
Despite the realization of significant investments, the State had for several years acquired mitigated results, seen through an ever growing social demand and (discontent policy ), with the continuous non adaptation of rates, the waste of material resources and persistent deterioration of equipment.
At the dawn of the period, (1988 to 1998),
From 1993, the operation of the first GSM mobile telephony network in
It is in June, 1995 when the Head of State launched the policy of restructuring the domain whose national operator was the former Telecommunications Department, later maintained in the organizational chart of the Administration in charge of Telecommunications.
Law No 98/014 governing Telecommunications in
Rules, orders and regulations to create, organize and lay down the functioning of new stakeholders in the national landscape of Telecommunications were enacted and led to the creation of the following structures: the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB), CAMTEL and CAMTEL Mobile.
From 1998 till date, the strategic view the domain has evolved. In
The technological changes which were translated in the 80s and 90s by the digitization of telephone networks and the explosion of telecommunications via satellite in particular and of wireless systems in general, opened up new avenues and engendered new services and expectations. Companies and professionals eager to render modern services, are no longer satisfied with the services offered by an administration that is nonperforming, slow to adapt and slow to innovate.
It is in this context that the reform of the Telecommunications domain decreed, on June 1, 1995 by the Head of State, in a general logic to restructure the national system of production, with view to stimulating economic growth and getting the Cameroonian economy out of the rut by means of information and communication technologies, attained its first results, featuring in good position an improvement of the effectiveness and efficiency of public institutions and companies of the sub-sector.
Altogether, in December 2000, several institutional evolutions were observed amongst which the most significant were the complete withdrawal of the State from mobile telephony networks operation opened to the public: two mobile telephony licenses were granted to two private operators, Orange Cameroun and MTN Cameroon; the setting up of numerous Internet Service Providers among whom most operate without authorization; the start of activities of the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (ART) in September, 1999; the supply of fixe telephony service by Camtel for a transitional period up to the liberalization of this segment of market.
As concern regulation, the Government opened a vast construction site aimed at endowing the sector with a favourable framework to attract new investors which was translated by the elaboration of two (02) laws on electronic communications and cyber security and cybercrime, together with subordinate legislation. .
In this new legal environment, new organs will soon come to the limelight, for example the Postal Regulatory Board (ARP) and the National Agency for the Security of Information Systems (ANSSI).
As concern human resources capacity building, the recasting of the National Advanced School of Posts and Telecommunications is envisaged. Another project for the creation in Yaoundé of the Sub-regional Centre for Telecommunications Maintenance is under way, architectural studies have already been carried out.