Telecommunications operators in Cameroon whose infrastructure (including pylons, masts and towers) fail to adhere to installation norms will be sanctioned and their infrastructure dismantled, the country’s Telecommunication Regulatory Board (TRB) has warned.
The Director General of TRB, Philemon Zoo Zame directed communication at Camtel, MTN Cameroon, Orange Cameroun, Nexttel and IHS Cameroon – key owners of telecommunications infrastructures totalling over 5,000 pylons.
The regulator said most of the operators were proceeding with the installation of masts in urban residential areas without respecting engineering guidelines.
According to Zame operators also failed to adhere to maximum limit of exposure to radiation, height restriction (150m maximum), as well as the distance between masts (750m in residential areas and 2km in other areas) and were reluctant to share network infrastructure.
The TRB added that the unnecessary and incoherent multiplication of transmission pylons and the non-sharing of network infrastructures by telecom operators have a negative impact on the environment, urbanisation, public safety, public health and tariff plans of operators.
Ali Soungui, TRB’s Director of Licensing, Competition and Interconnection, said the time for administrative tolerance has had to come to an end. “Operators who install masts and telecom towers must respect all binding regulations, specifically an April 18 order of the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications fixing conditions of installation of pylons and towers for telecommunications purposes in Cameroon.”
Soungui cited a 2010 law regulating telecommunications in Cameroon; a 2012 prime ministerial order fixing conditions of interconnection, access to electronic network communication for the public and infrastructure sharing; and a 2013 prime ministerial order fixing maximum limits of exposure to radiation.
The Director added that the installation of pylons supported by ropes in towns and villages is a common violation and is prohibited in residential areas.