Formerly considered as a luxury, the optical fibre is now deployed throughout the country and is proven in terms of cutting-edge services offered to Cameroonians, and even beyond. Thanks to the support of the Government, Camtel has developed a dense network that facilitates the transmission of all our national and international communications, be it in transmission or reception, at the speed of light.
Today, the fibre optic serves all of Cameroon over a stretch of 12,000 Km from Kye-Osi to Kousseri. It covers the ten regional head quarters, about 90% of divisions and a hundred sub-divisions. This infrastructure is a reliable support for operators, organizations, businesses and individuals as far as telecommunications is concerned. It even meets the needs of some people in countries within the CEMAC zone, like Chad, whose interconnection with Cameroon has been effective since March 2012, through contracts signed with SITCOM and SOTEL Chad. The latter specifically enjoys Cameroonian expertise in terms of training and capacity building of its staff, especially with regard to fibre to the home.
Camtel’s National Optical Backbone, in collaboration with Huawei Technologies and other local partners, is at the core of modernizing communications in Cameroon. In addition to the employment it generates in the telecommunications sector, it considerably reduces the deficit observed in trunk transmission networks. Moreover, this infrastructure contributes to lower communication costs, facilitate the development of the government intranet and its applications, and the construction of the university interconnection network. Furthermore, the Backbone network, which is provided to all operators in the sector, is used for the development of new generation community telecentres in many peri-urban and rural areas.
A secure backbone
Apart from its reliability, the National Optical Fibre Backbone is secure and guarantees a high level of permanent network availability from north to south, and from east to west. In the event of an incident generally caused by external factors such as civil engineering works on road construction sites, the construction of water supply or electrification networks, urban loops serve as redundancy routes, thus ensuring continuity of consistent service. In order to reduce the risk of interruption of services and to ensure the permanent network availability, Camtel has taken a number of actions, including:
- Increasing the awareness of stakeholders such as the Ministry of Public Works, the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development, construction companies and public works contractors (discussion forums were created among others;
- Talks with contracting authorities to enable them to include network displacement and transfer in the design and execution of projects that are likely to cause prejudice to CAMTEL and its customers.
As of today, the optical fibre deployment in all corners of the country is ongoing. Studies are underway for additional coverage of at least 3,500 km through the 4th phase of the backbone deployment. Moreover, thanks to the Central Africa Backbone Project (CAB) financed by the World Bank, Cameroon will be connected to the rest of CEMAC countries through an optical fibre telecommunications network. An extension of this network between Bambili and Kumbo is also envisaged. The infrastructure will thus enable Cameroon not only to continue to significantly reduce the digital and technological divide, but also to position itself as the undisputed hub in Central Africa.