(Business in Cameroon) - In Cameroon, smartphone adoption is steadily rising, according to figures published by the national telecom observatory of the telecom regulatory board ART. Recently, citing the figures from that observatory, Minister of Posts and Telecommunications (MINPOSTEL) Minette Libom Li Likeng revealed that from 25% in 2016, the smartphone penetration rate rose to 40% in 2020.
According to the MINPOSTEL, this 15% growth in smartphone use opened residents to the outside world, and now, they require quality, affordable, stable, and comprehensive services. “Therefore, public authorities, regulators, and operators must take actions to respond appropriately to those expectations,” she added.
In the country, users’ rising interest in smartphones can be explained by the numerous features offered by those mobile terminals. They can take pictures, capture or play video and audio clips, access the internet and related services, store digital files, as well as help locate places. Also, the phone, which was previously unaffordable for the low-income population has been gradually democratized by phone manufacturers (Chinese notably) with the introduction of low-cost smartphones.
Apart from the manufacturers that helped democratize smartphone access with their low-cost products, mobile operators are also contributing to this rise in adoption. For instance, in Cameroon, in 2019, Orange introduced “Sanza”, a smartphone it presented as the most affordable in the world. At the time, the phone was selling at XAF11,570 pre-tax and 13,900 all taxes included. “I am confident that this 3G, and soon 4G phone, will be a key tool to boost internet access in Africa,” said Alioune Ndiaye, CEO Orange Middle East and Africa, during the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain.