Cameroon’s telecommunications regulator, the Agence de Regulation des Telecommunications (ART), has issued fines amounting to XAF 6.3 billion (USD 13.6 million) to six of the country’s operators for violating laws that govern the sector.
According to a report by CamerPress, mobile operator Orange Cameroun was handed the largest fine, around XAF 4.14 billion, of which XAF 3.2 billion was for establishing long-distance transmission links without permission, while a further fine of XAF 940.4 million was imposed on the operator for unauthorized use of numbering resources.
The country’s other mobile operator, MTN Cameroon, was penalized XAF 523.2 million for unauthorized use of numbering resources, while its internet subsidiary received a fine of XAF 250 million for unauthorized use of frequencies in the cities of Douala and Bafoussam. State-owned fixed line operator CamTel is required to pay XAF 887 million for unauthorized use of numbering resources, while ISP Ringo has been fined around XAF 421 million for using frequencies without permission in the cities of Yaounde, Douala, Limbe and Bafoussam.
Another ISP, Alink Telecom, was penalized XAF80 million also for using frequencies without permission for the provision of wireless internet services. ARTEL has levied these sanctions on the telephone and internet service providers in the country for violating the rules governing the sector.
The other two internet providers, RINGO and A-Link Telecom are amongst the list of companies found guilty of bad practices. The sanctions were announced after investigations carried out by the Regulatory Board between 2009 and 2010.
In a related development, MTN Cameroon has crossed the symbolic threshold of 5 million subscribers. It’s a housewife Foumban, Ms. Njankouo born Nzie Aminatou is five-millionth subscriber. A promotional campaign to reward the five millionth subscriber was held to mark the event. The lucky winner received a Duplex house worth 50 million CFA francs offered by MTN. The ceremony of laying the foundation stone of this house was held Thursday, July 21, 2011 at Mbanga Japoma Douala, attended by the winner, the CEO of MTN, Philippe Vandebrouck and CEO of the SAD, the development company that will build the duplex.
With 5 million subscribers, the company consolidates its leading position in the Cameroonian market of mobile and emerging as an institution of national socio-economic life. The SIM making it the 5 millionth subscriber to MTN, was purchased from a Foot Soldier (brand ambassador MTN) passing through the neighborhood.