CEMAC Workshop on Free Roaming

On 12 and 13 December in Douala, Cameroon, about 30 representatives from Regulatory Authorities and ICT Ministries of CEMAC countries (Cameroon, Chad, CAR, Congo, Gabon, and Equatorial Guinea), ITU, UNECA, GSMA and Airtel Group, attended a workshop organized by the CEMAC to discuss the free-roaming project.

The objectives of the GSMA participation were two-fold:

  • Present the Industry position on free-roaming and prerequisites to the implementation of any roaming initiative.
  • Opportunity to identify areas of collaboration with CEMAC, and discuss regulatory issues faced by member operators in Cameroon.

As prerequisites of any regulatory intervention on roaming tariffs, the GSMA has advocated for:

  • A cost modeling study to identify all underlying costs necessary for the determination of the roaming retail tariffs.
  • The consultation of MNOs locally to avoid MNOs incurring loss.
  • The abolishment of surcharges on Incoming International traffic to make roaming tariffs affordable.

Following the discussions, the participants adopted the following measures to be submitted to the CEMAC Council of Ministers:

  • Adoption, with effect on 30 June 2020, of the roam like a local principle where the highest tariff of the visited country shall apply as the most straightforward approach.
  • Removal of all surcharges on International incoming traffic to facilitate regional integration.
  •  Limitation at 300 minutes per month, free incoming calls while roaming, to mitigate abuses and fraud.
  •  Encourage direct interconnections and direct access to submarine cables.
  • Establishment of steering committees locally to facilitate and monitor the implementation of the free-roaming.