As the use of the internet for several purposes gets a steady rise in Cameroon, Telecommuication Companies operating in the Country are seeking better technology to make their services more available and affordable to the vast majority of the population. The most recent of such Companies is RINGO SA, which hit the waves recently with the slogan-“We live together.” Just like MTN, Orange, CAMTEL and Saconet, RINGO offers Internet connection services but at a cheaper cost with more mobility options. However the rate is still expensive for the average Cameroonian, and it’s coverage is limited to Douala and Yaounde as of now.
By Irene Zih Fon
According to the Administrative Director of RINGO, Olivier Lelustre, the company is developing a wireless broadband internet access device that would cover all of Cameroon and even extend to rural areas. Their goal is to make internet connection more accessible to individuals right in their homes, and not just an office luxury as is mostly the case at the moment.
RINGO’s internet service comes through a Modem box which is connected to a computer through a cable, offering a warranty of 3 months and a lifespan of over 5 years. It also has scratch cards with a cost range from between 1000-25.000 F CFA. The cards are used to get access to the internet following connection, and are valid for between 15-60 days and 100 minutes-2,500 accordng to the value of the card.
Besides cheaper rates, the company promises three qualities with the new service-easy installation, speed and mobility. Installing a Ringo modem costs 49.000F CFA, whereas MTN’s is 225.000F CFA. Obtaining internet access requires only getting a card and scratching it to enter a rechargeable code. The modem box is mobile as users can carry it along with them wherever they go, in order to stay connected; however, some operators charge 75.000frs to displace the connection.
The cost of using Ringo’s internet connection is nevertheless still expensive for most Cameroonians. Considering the cost, a minute cost 10frs, hence 600frs/hour. The trend is a positive one as a competitive market may yield far better prices adapted to the income level and purchasing power of the average Cameroonian.
Saconet offers it’s Internet Wimax pack at 148.000F CFA for installation at home with 24.000 frs/month for access, while MTN effects a reduction from 40.000-29.000F CFA/month.
RINGO uses a new technology founded by the Chinese, named MCWILL. © The Entrepreneur Newspaper 2008. All Rights Reserved