Airtel to deploy WIMAX network for Camtel in Cameroon
SR Telecom, a supplier of WiMAX-based broadband wireless solutions, has announced that it will provide Airtel Telecom Group with equipment to deploy 100 base stations throughout Cameroon, allowing Camtel to offer premium triple-play services to enterprise and residential subscribers. The rollout is expected to begin in December 2008 with a targeted completion of July 2009.
This move follows the award of a wireless broadband license to Airtel by Cameroon’s government officials and bypassing the country’s established phone companies in an effort to diversify the telecommunications market.
In order to help Camtel, the state’s main national telecom player to become more competitive and to gain a bigger market share, a joint-venture agreement between Airtel and Camtel has been approved by the Cameroon Government officials.
As a winner of this international tender, Airtel will invest up to 150 million CFA (US$35 million) in the first three years to roll out internet and IP services across the country.
Airtel is expected to roll out the service to the rest of the population wherever the network is weak, starting with the rural areas which represent at least 70 per cent of the country.
Airtel’s President and CEO, Jamal Boukouray, said it expects WiMAX services to be available to 20 percent of the targeted population by the end of 2009. The Government also expects that 50 per cent of the Cameroon population will have broadband access by 2012, and WiMAX is seen as the principal enabler.