Nexttel Cameroon SA, of the country’s top mobile telecommunications operators, has boosted its stride to gain a foothold in Cameroon’s mobile sector with surprisingly strong subscriber growth in the third quarter of 2018, following long battles of ownership.
Commenting on the results, the subsidiary of Vietnam’s Viettell said with a record 4.5 million subscribers, it is now the largest mobile operator in Cameroon. In a statement seen by Agence Press Africaine, the company also said to be ‘today the first telephone operator in Cameroon, compared to other telecom operators who have invested and operated in the market for longer period of time Nexttel has “built a solid infrastructure” covering up to 90% of the Cameroonian population, 99.2% of which is in urban areas’.
The number of mobile phone users in Cameroon increased from 43% to 73% between 20008 and 2016, with more than 68.2% of the country’s population having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram accounts. This has made the internet market in Cameroon one of the most lucrative areas of investment in the central African region. Nexttel has used bundle and economy pricing as its key strategy to compete in Cameroon.
As the company gain foothold in the country, some of its Cameroonian investors want more say over the management of the company and better outcomes for Cameroonians. Baba Danpullo, one of Cameroon’s richest man and promoter of Bestinver Cameroon SA, who owns 30% of Nexttel, has accused Viettel of Vietnam of unilaterally managing the company and failing to hire Cameroonian labour force.
Nexttel’s Company Director in Cameroon, Do Manh Hung, has refuted these claims, accusing Danpullo of peddling “false information” against the company. He says ‘among the 1000 employees working at Nexttel Cameroun SA, Cameroonians represent 94% of the workforce and the management team is made up of 85% of Cameroonians”, as well as “employees Vietnamese work side by side with their local colleagues and try to train and transfer technology to local employees. ‘