Samuel Eto’o launches Cameroon’s third mobile network, Set’Mobile

Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o on Thursday launched his own mobile phone network, Set’Mobile in the country’s commercial capital Douala.

Set’Mobile, launched with a capital base of $ 199,203 (100 million CFA), becomes the country’s third mobile network after Orange and MTN. The mobile network, unveiled in the presence of the Indomitable Lions captain, bears the initials of Eto’o’s name, S and Et’.

The new network has a general manager and associate partner Charles Gueret, who hopes to make the company very accessible to the population and make an impact in the market by dropping the cost of calls, while offering services such as calls, SMS and internet access.

Prior to launching his own network, Eto’o, who through his three-year deal with Russia’s Anzhi Makhachkala for $ 30.3 million annual salary has become the world’s highest paid player, had been the ambassador of Orange and it is hoped that Eto’o’s popularity in the country will help attract subscribers to Set’Mobile, especially youths.

The launch of Set’Mobile comes at a time when Cameroon’s and the entire West African mobile phone scene is experiencing significant dynamism.  A report by Onda Analytics, a telecoms investment research firm prepared in 2010 on Cameroon’s third mobile licence note that MTN Cameroon, created from the privatisation of Camtel’s mobile division in February 2000, is the market leader with a 62 per cent of subscribers in the mobile market.

The report further states that mobile service revenue for existing players are likely to increase by 55 per cent from $ 747 million in December 2009 to $ 1.16 billion by December 2018.

“The new entrant can expect to generate a service revenue of $ 309 million by December 2018. This is equivalent to 21 per cent of total mobile service revenue at December 2018. Growth in mobile service revenue will be driven mainly by mobile subscriber growth in Cameroon,” states the Onda Analytics report, adding that subscriptions will grow by 155 per cent, but revenue will grow by only 96 per cent, due to reductions in ARPU.

Analysis from Frost & Sullivan’s West and Central African Mobile Communications Market Tracker, further states that the mobile communications markets in Nigeria, Cameroon and the Ivory Coast earned combined revenues of $ 8.6 billion in 2009 and estimates that this would reach $ 12.6 billion in 2016. From approximately 92.6 million in 2009, mobile subscribers are expected to grow to 172.4 million in 2015 in the region.

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