In 2012, the government of Cameroon granted a new license allowing Viettel Cameroon S.A.R.L to become the third mobile-phone operator to provide 2G and 3G services. Using the IBM (News - Alert) Smarter computing solution, the Viettel group hopes to shake up the telecommunications landscape and revamp the industry by unleashing new types of services in Cameroon.
IBM's rich portfolio of Smarter Computing solutions consisting of IBM System x3850, x3650 and BladeCenter HS23 servers, IBM Storwize V7000 storage systems, operating with Linux OS and using IBM DB2 software, is expected to provide next-generation wireless services in Cameroon at much lower cost.
"This agreement marks our significant commitment to Cameroon -- the second market in Africa we have invested in," noted Phung Van Cuong, CIO of the Viettel Group, which is a joint venture between telecommunication companies Viettel Global (Vietnam) and Bestinver Cameroon S.A.R.L.
Viettel Group has been relying on IBM technology for more than ten years, since the company was established in 1999 in Vietnam. Since 2006, Viettel has rigorously invested in markets outside the country and has relied on IBM technology to support its expansion efforts.
The project, which will make Viettel Cameroon the largest telecommunications company in the country, will make advanced integrated mobile data and voice services available to millions of new Cameroonian subscribers. It will work with local business partner SVTech to install the IBM system and will also provide the IT infrastructure for the new mobile services.
Although the mobile penetration rate is only 49 percent in Cameroon, Pyramid Research observed that the introduction of integrated 3G data services has the potential to attract up to six million new subscribers by 2017.
With an expansion in infrastructure, Cameroon mobile subscribers are expected to use their mobile phones not only for voice calls but also for advanced data applications. Officials at Viettel expect to see subscribers make video calls while surfing the Net, play interactive games with friends, chat online, connect to multimedia apps through mobile devices, shop online and more.
Having invested more than $400 million in Cameroon, Viettel Group aims to expand to another 10-15 countries to cover a market of one billion users by 2020, with an average revenue growth rate of 20 percent per year.