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Covid-19: Telecom watchdog in Cameroon orders reduction of mobile services

The Telecommunication Regulatory Agency of Cameroon has ordered mobile telephone companies  to reduce their cost of calls and internet services during this health crisis caused by Covid-19. Philemon Zo’o Zame, the Agency’s boss  gave the order recently after meeting representatives of the companies.

The coronavirus epidemic which is rampaging around the world, is forcing the populations (especially European) to observe a strict confinement at home to avoid the spread of the disease. In Cameroon, we have not yet reached such extremes, even if the Minister of Public Health, Malachie Manaouda, during his daily communications, invites Cameroonians to stay at home as much as possible as the number keeps rising.

To try to make the daily life of Cameroonians who voluntarily choose to stay at homes less strenuous, Philémon Zo’o Zame, the Director General of the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency (ART) held consultations with electronic communications service providers.

At the end of the meeting, it was agreed that, the telecom service providers must facilitate access to electronic communications services, through the low-cost use of financial services and the Internet. In other words, the regulator is asking operators to lower the costs of the services offered.

Also these companies have been implored to also contribute to the fight against the pandemic through the provision of information relating to the fight against Covid-19 by means of electronic communications, permanence and continuity of service, rapid recovery in the event of a malfunction of the network.  

Emergency and public utility calls are free of charge for users and to ensure good quality of service and coverage of the national territory.

Before the order of the telecom watchdog, several operators had already made free the operations of sending and withdrawing money from a certain amount.

However, to-date, the costs of phone calls and the internet are still the same. Operators do, however, offer a wide range of promotional offers and other packages, which provide customers with several choices making them spend less during this difficult period caused by the coronavirus.