Telecommunications in Cameroon

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Telecommunications in Cameroon include radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.


During German rule, It was set up in the protectorate of Kamerun the first telegraph line, the first telephone line, and the first wireless telegraph. However, the country remained undeveloped in telecommunications. During First World War, Germans followed a scorched-earth policy that meant the destruction of communication lines, included telephone and telegraph.[1]

In British Cameroon, from 1916 to 1950s, communications in the country relied on flag post runners that had been described as "human telephone lines". Paths followed by the runners served as a base of the development of telegraph lines in the territory. For instance, the line from Buea-Kumba to Ossidinge used the same paths that the mail runners. In the mid-1930s, the wiring of British Cameroon received more support.[2]

Radio and television[edit]

  • Radio stations:
    • state-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV); one private radio broadcaster; about 70 privately owned, unlicensed radio stations operating, but subject to closure at any time; foreign news services are required to partner with a state-owned national station (2007);[3]
    • 2 AM, 9 FM, and 3 shortwave stations (2001).
  • Television stations:
    • state-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), 2 private TV broadcasters (2007);[3]
    • one station (2001).

BBC World Service radio is available via local relays (98.4 FM in Yaounde, the capital).[4]

The government maintains tight control over broadcast media. State-owned Cameroon Radio Television (CRTV), operates both a TV and a radio network. It was the only officially recognized and fully licensed broadcaster until August 2007 when the government issued licenses to two private TV and one private radio broadcasters.[3]

Approximately 375 privately owned radio stations were operating in 2012, three-fourths of them in Yaounde and Douala. The government requires nonprofit rural radio stations to submit applications to broadcast, but they were exempt from licensing fees. Commercial radio and television broadcasters must submit a licensing application and pay an application fee and thereafter pay a high annual licensing fee. Several rural community radio stations function with foreign funding. The government prohibits these stations from discussing politics.[5]

In spite of the government's tight control, Reporters Without Borders reported in its 2011 field survey that "[i]t is clear from the diversity of the media and the outspoken reporting style that press freedom is a reality".[4]



A number of projects are underway that will improve Internet access, telecommunications, and Information and communications technology (ICT) in general:[15]

  • Implementation of the e-post project, connecting 234 post offices throughout the country;
  • Extension of the national optical fiber network, installation of the initial 3,200 km of fiber is complete and studies for the installation of an additional 3,400 km are underway;
  • Construction of multipurpose community telecentres, some 115 telecentres are operating with an additional 205 under construction;
  • Construction of metropolitan optical loops, the urban optical loop of Douala is complete and construction of the Yaounde loop is underway;
  • Construction of submarine cable landing points;
  • Establishment of public key infrastructure (PKI);
  • Construction of a regional technology park to support the development of ICTs.

Internet censorship and surveillance[edit]

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms.[5]

Although the law provides for freedom of speech and press, it also criminalizes media offenses, and the government restricts freedoms of speech and press. Government officials threaten, harass, arrest, and deny equal treatment to individuals or organizations that criticize government policies or express views at odds with government policy. Individuals who criticize the government publicly or privately sometimes face reprisals. Press freedom is constrained by strict libel laws that suppress criticism. These laws authorize the government, at its discretion and the request of the plaintiff, to criminalize a civil libel suit or to initiate a criminal libel suit in cases of alleged libel against the president and other high government officials. Such crimes are punishable by prison terms and heavy fines.[5]

Although the constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, these rights are subject to restriction for the "higher interests of the state", and there are credible reports that police and gendarmes harass citizens, conduct searches without warrants, and open or seize mail with impunity.[5]

See also[edit]


  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from The World Factbook. CIA.
  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State.
  1. ^ Scheele, Isabell (2014-06-15). "La Première Guerre mondiale au Cameroun : une guerre des archives ?". Cahiers d'Études Germaniques (in French). 66 (66): 229–242. doi:10.4000/ceg.2154. ISSN 0751-4239.
  2. ^ Quevedo, Javier Márquez (2010). "Telecommunications and Colonial Rivalry: European Telegraph Cables to the Canary Islands and Northwest Africa, 1883-1914". Historical Social Research / Historische Sozialforschung. 35 (1 (131)): 108–124. ISSN 0172-6404. JSTOR 20762431.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l "Communications: Cameroon", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 28 January 2014. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  4. ^ a b "Cameroon profile: Media", BBC News, 14 August 2012. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  5. ^ a b c d "Cameroon", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor, U.S. Department of State, 22 March 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  6. ^ Dialing Procedures (International Prefix, National (Trunk) Prefix and National (Significant) Number) (in Accordance with ITY-T Recommendation E.164 (11/2010)), Annex to ITU Operational Bulletin No. 994-15.XII.2011, International Telecommunication Union (ITU, Geneva), 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  7. ^ "ACE: Africa Coast to Europe", Orange SA. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  8. ^ a b Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012" Archived 2017-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  9. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunication Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  10. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  11. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  12. ^ Select Formats Archived 2009-05-13 at the Wayback Machine, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  13. ^ Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  14. ^ "Creolink Communications", website. Retrieved 8 February 2014.
  15. ^ "Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications, Cameroon", Telecom World, International Telecommunication Union, 19–22 November 2013. Retrieved 8 February 2014.

External links[edit]