This increased competition has forced the existing Camtel to go mobile and even drop its prices. Old Camtel lines are now used for faster internet connections. It is possible now to get a Camtel mobile phone plus subscription for just 15 000frs (about $30.00) and a Camtel mobile phone call to USA sometimes costs as low as 100frs/min (about $0.20/min). This competition has also accounted for a lot of Math in calling. For example, MTN has the following calling plans: Pay as you go per second(5frs/sec), Pay as you go per min(180frs/min), MTN zone(Cost per min fluctuates nonstop depending on place and time), MTN99 and Yellow nights. People who understand the system are always selecting a plan before placing any call depending on the estimated length of the call. It is easy to switch between plans by just entering a code on the phone keypad. A: “Are you coming to the party? B: “Sure”. A: “I will see you soon”. B: “Thanks”. If that’s all about your conversation, then the best plan is the “per second billing”, but if B makes the conversation up to a minute long, “A” ends up paying 300frs/min instead of 180frs/min (per minute billing) or 20frs if that conversation took 4seconds. Here, only the caller pays. It is free to receive calls at any time. Interestingly, even during roaming to other African countries like Nigeria or Ghana, it is possible to make and receive calls without any further roaming plans. All three mobile phone companies now provide portable internet services. With the help of a small USB device (Connect card) containing a SIM card and a phone number, it is now possible to browse the internet even on a laptop while travelling in a bus or anywhere there is the provider’s network at just 5frs/min! ($0.01/min). Not very fast for voice transmission but good enough to browse and do the essentials. A forth company – Ringo (www.ringo.cm) is specialized only on internet distribution for home use. Their connection is much faster and can support video chats such as on skype!! They sell pay as you go cards and also offer monthly unlimited internet plans. Generally, cyber cafes and call boxes will slowly fade away and people will do a lot from home. Take note that people do not have to leave Ebolowa or Extreme North to travel to Yaounde anymore, just to check on the progress of their documents in the ministry of public service. All they need is to go here >>http://dossier.minfopra.gov.cm/ from the comfort of their homes, if they have internet sticks recently on promotion at just 25 000frs! A lot of money and time saved! Most of the local newspapers have also gone online and therefore can be accessed anywhere in the world. Here we are talking about papers like Cameroon Tribune, The Herald and The Post newspapers. ON THE WATCH. Cameroon’s Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Jean Pierre Biyiti Bi Essam, has announced that the government will license up to two new mobile operators in the next few months, local newspaper Le Messager reports. The Minister hopes the introduction of further competition in the market will lead to lower tariffs and improved quality of service. VOA Africa, March 2010 reported that China is opening a factory in Cameroon to manufacture buses for Central and West Africa. Investors from China and Cameroon government officials say the $500 million factories in Douala expected to start producing buses by the end of the year will create hundreds of new jobs, ease transport and boost Cameroon’s economic growth. “Relations between the two countries are very friendly, and the place, the location is very good because it is a central seaport for West Africa,” said Wu Yue, vice president of China’s National Machinery Import and Export Corporation. In more news, Cameroon Tribune of June 2009 reported that The Cameroon and Korea Mining Corporation, (C&K Mining Inc.) that obtained research permit on the Mobilong Diamond deposit located south east of Yokadouma, Boumba and Ngoko Division in the East Region, announced, it found probable diamond deposits of 736 million carats (1 metric carat equals 200 milligrams). This amount could represent five times the world annual consumption. Compiled by VSA for Camlev.