Viettel Cameroon, which was announced as the winner of the country’s third mobile licence in December last year, has delayed its potential launch date from January to March 2014, Agence Ecofin writes. The operator, a joint venture between Vietnam’s Viettel Global and Bestinver Cameroon, requires additional time to deploy its 2G and 3G network infrastructure across the country’s ten regions, according to the report. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database notes that Viettel fought 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. In June 2013 President Paul Biya signed a decree approving the award of the concession to Viettel and the following August IBM revealed that Viettel was using its Smarter Computing solution to enable its 3G infrastructure and provide high speed mobile data and voice services. Viettel Cameroon will join South Africa-based MTN Cameroon and France’s Orange Cameroun, which had respective mobile subscriber bases of 8.16 million and 5.89 million at the end of September 2013.
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