China United Network Communications Corp. (uniCom) and state-run Cameroon Telecommunications (CamTel), signed an agreement Wednesday that will involve deploying a 5,917-kilometer-long undersea cable between Brazil and Cameroon, aimed at expanding the West African nation’s telecommunications capability.
The 280billion Central African francs (valued $487 million) contract was sealed by China Unicom Vice Chairman Yimin Lu and CamTel General Manager David Nkoto Emane.
CamTel will buy broadband technology and equipment from China Unicom through its strategic partner Huawei Marine Networks who will build the landing station in Kribi, southern region of Cameroon and Spain’s Telefonica will construct the Brazilian hub. EximBank China will finance 85% of the project via a loan to the Cameroon government, with the government financing the rest, Cameroon’s minister of telecommunication, Lisette Libom Lilikeng stated.
“This investment permits us to transform Cameroon into a hub of mobile telephone and broadband in the Central African sub-region,” said Mr. Emane, “We are going into this project that will take about 24 months for its deployment,”
China Unicom is a Chinese state-owned telecommunications operator. It is the world’s fourth largest mobile service provider by subscriber base.
CamTel is a national telecommunications and Internet service provider in Cameroon. The company is busy building its network, including: Access to a CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) network; digitization of the country’s telephone exchanges; and optical fiber along the highway between Douala and Yaoundé, and between Kribi and Lolodorf. There are 47 telephone exchanges in the company’s system and about 150,000 telephone lines in its cable network and its switching network. It also operates 3 satellite earthlink stations in Bepanda, Zamengoe and Garoua.