The Chinese company ZTE presented to the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng, on July 13 in Yaounde, the National Emergency Telecommunications Network, that it has just built on behalf of the State.
This network, it was learnt, will manage the secure communications of the country. To do this, it consists of a National Emergency Operations Centre in Yaounde (the heart of the network), its back-up in Douala and eight regional operations centres in the main towns of Cameroon’s regions.
In detail, ZTE has built an infrastructure with five components. The first is the trunked radio network. This allows government teams to manage emergencies confidentially and securely without the need for a public network.
The second component is the emergency communications system. It is designed to handle distress calls from any subscriber with a mobile terminal with or without a chip.
The third part of the RTNU is the video surveillance system. This is to ensure the protection of goods and people by conveying, recording and exploiting the images taken by a set of cameras. These cameras, used to record video of incidents, allow for large-scale indoor and outdoor surveillance applications: river, forest, airport, railway station, port, oil field, square, park, landscape, school, street, prison, large gym and warehouse, etc.
Video surveillance cameras are installed in all the regional capitals of Cameroon with visualisation, supervision and data processing screens housed in the emergency telecommunications centres.
The fourth component manages videoconferencing. This is a technology that allows people to communicate with a distant interlocutor from a microcomputer and to see him or her in real time in a virtual window on the screen. It allows participants, spread over several remote sites, to communicate with the benefit of sound, image and any other type of data transmission.
The final component is the e-police system. It is a centralised technological platform for managing security operations. The main services offered are: police information management, criminal information management, criminal case management, wanted persons management, system management portal, police capacity building. For the time being, the sites housing these infrastructures are those of the national gendarmerie.
The implementation of the UNRT follows the visit of the President of the Republic, Paul Biya, to China in July 2011, with a view to responding to disasters and other emergency situations through the establishment of an adequate communication system for an efficient early warning system. Following this visit, a commercial contract will be signed on 21 December 2012 with the ZTE Corporation.
The related financing agreement, for a partial amount of CFAF 77.7 billion, was in turn signed on 29 October 2013, between the Ministry in charge of the Economy and the Export-Import Bank of China (Eximbank-China). The signing, on 5 January 2017, of the construction contract with the Chinese company ZTE consecrates the effective start of the works. But so far, the officials in charge of the project have not revealed the final cost of this infrastructure.