Cameroon – Telecom: Administrative delays block the entry into force of mobile number portability in Cameroon

Initially announced for the month of November 2016, and then for 4 April 2017 by the regulator of the telecommunications sector in Cameroon, the portability of numbers is still not effective to date. However, this is a device to improve the quality of the service offered to subscribers, since portability allows a subscriber who is dissatisfied with the quality of service offered by his home operator to migrate to another subscriber. Competitor deemed better, without changing the telephone number.

According to the Government Daily, quoting an internal source from the Technical Committee for Implementation of Portability, “the absence of regulatory texts to supervise this activity is the major difficulty that remains until then“. From a technical point of view, the various telephony operators are ready, to date, despite the delays observed before the deadline of 4 April for the training of their staff or the updating of databases.

However, this project had reached a decisive stage on 31 January 2017, in Yaounde, the Cameroonian capital, with the launch of the activities of the economic interest grouping for the management of mobile portability in Cameroon (GIE-PMC) MTN, Orange and Nexttel. These three operators were invited to invest a sum of 1.5 billion CFA francs in the establishment of a centralized database, with a view to managing the portability of mobile numbers in Cameroon.

Since 2015, the contract for the supply, installation and operation of this infrastructure has been awarded by the telecoms regulator to the Chinese equipment manufacturer Huawei. The duration of the work had been limited to seven months.

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