Camtel’s Drive towards Making Cameroon a Digital Hub saluted by Brazil's Ambassador

The General Manager of Cameroon Telecommunications, CAMTEL, has reiterated the company’s plan to use the advantages of the South Atlantic Inter Link, SAIL – Africa’s first-ever submarine cable which connects Cameroon to South American continent – to make Cameroon a digital hub within the Central African Sub-region and beyond.

Camtel technicians explaining the details of SAIL to Brazilian ambassador to Cameroon as Camtel GM, local authorities look on
Judith Yah Sunday Espe Achidi Achu was speaking Friday August 27 during the visit of the Ambassador of Brazil to Cameroon, H.E. Vivian Loss Sanmartin, at the Kribi landing station. The 6000km long SAIL submarine cable links Cameroon’s town of Kribi in the South region to the Brazilian city of Fortaleza.

“SAIL is a link that will permit Camtel to be the hub of Central Africa and the West African Coast to connect all the African countries to Latin America. It permits for direct connection between this two continents in very good quality,” Camtel GM stated.

Camtel GM addressing Brazilian Ambassador to Cameroon during visit at Kribi landing station
Yah Sunday disclosed that SAIL is a next-generation infrastructure that has revolutionised the digital ecosystem of Cameroon in particular and the continent at large. The construction of SAIL, she added, fits squarely not only in the process of developing broadband electronic communication infrastructure, but within the desire to modernise the sector which remains dear to the President of the Republic, Paul Biya.

Camtel GM seized the opportunity to present some of the strides made by the corporation under her leadership including the steady execution of the Customer Centricity and Change Management vision; acquisition of the three concession licence which permits Camtel operate in the domains of fixed, mobile and transport in telecommunications, the ISO 9001 certification for quality services, Camtel’s introduction of a new revolutionary commercial brand dubbed BLUE amongst others.

She added that Camtel is today particularly rich with varied infrastructure, put at the service of the country and the sub-region, constituting submarine fibre optic cables serving a good part of the continent, three landing stations hosting four submarine cables plus a national fibre optic backbone of 12,000km, including several cross-border points that connects Chad, Gabon, Nigeria, Equatorial Guinea and eventually Congo and the Central African Republic.

This vast infrastructure, Yah Sunday noted, constitutes the engine that makes Cameroon the digital hub of Central Africa as it allows the country to provide unlimited multimedia content, videos, streaming, cloud computing, telemedicine, Tele-education...which are the basis of the digital economy much cherished by government policy.

Presenting SAIL to the Brazilian diplomat and other officials, Georges Mpoundi Ngolle, Camtel’s Head of Business Unit Transport reiterated the corporation’s ambition to make Cameroon the digital hub of Central Africa through the connection with Fortaleza which is already a veritable digital hub on the South American continent.

“Beyond the technological mark and the architectural jewel, the real impact of this project lies in the huge opportunities created by the digital exchanges it opens between Brazil and Cameroon, connecting the world efficiently and effectively to the Central Africa Region via Cameroon,” Mpoundi revealed. 

The senior Camtel official added: “SAIL indeed improves the quality, overall bandwidth of internet access, leading together and more importantly more affordable internet access to all. This promotes fast and secure access to various services such as cloud consulting, cost delivery, big data, artificial intelligence, blog change, vast sale of development offered by today’s connected world”

Haring on the benefits of SAIL, Mpoundi, said: “…it allows for much more fluent connectivity from Cameroon to the rest of the world and the world to Cameroon. It is a two way benefit, allowing everyone to get a faster access to internet and more affordable”.

Speaking after a guided tour to the facility led by the Head of Kribi cable landing station, Max Ekange, Ambassador Vivian Loss Sanmartin saluted the hospitality accorded her delegation by Camtel and the people of the South region. She said the importance of the SAIL cannot be overemphasized as development of the digital landscape remains vital to of both countries. 

Vivian Loss Sanmartin said with SAIL, communication can be done directly without passing through Europe in very great speed and at low cost without passing through Europe as was the case before. 

“This is a great initiative and we appreciate it in maintaining our relationship in general and technology in particular. We will support all kinds of initiatives that brings us together and we believe that Cameroon has an opportunity to become a hub in this region of Africa,” the Brazilian diplomat said, noting that the SAIL connection will also help both nations to redynamise economic and social ties.

Loss Sanmartin pledged her support for the forthcoming mission Camtel is preparing to Brazil to discuss with Brazilian businessmen on the merits of the SAIL connection. 

“I believe that investors in Brazil can be interested in joining this initiative,” she said, adding that the visit will also boost relations between the Telecommunications Regulatory Board of Cameroon and their National Telecommunications, ANATEL. 

SAIL consists four pairs of fibre optic cables with a data transmission capacity of 6000 km connecting Kribi and Fortelaza at a speed of 32 Terabits per second and a latency of 56 milliseconds. SAIL project which went operational in 2018 was executed thanks to government in partnership with EXIMBANK China, HUAWEI Marine Technologies, a company specialised in the construction and maintenance of submarine cables and CHINA UNICOM, a Chinese telecommunications operator.

Present during the visit was the representatives of the ministers of External Relations, Posts and Telecommunications, officials of the Telecommunications Regulatory Agency, ART, South Governor Felix Nguele Nguele, his close collaborators and administrative and municipal authorities of Ocean Division and a cross-section of the population. The visit was punctuated with dance groups from Kribi and entrainment from budding talents detected within Camtel.

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