CIABAF has the strategic duty of ensuring proper allocation and management of frequency bands especially with the advent of digital television and social networks with strong impact on the population.

On Thursday 16 November 2017, top officials from different government departments met at the conference hall of the Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications for the 12th and 13th Ordinary Sessions of the Inter-ministerial Board for Frequency Bands Allocation (CIABAF).

In her Opening Speech at the session, Minister Minette Libom Li Likeng, Chairperson of the CIABAF, informed her fellow committee members that the 2017 Telecom Audit of the network of telecom operators conducted by the Swedish Cybercom Group, revealed that radio interference is one of the main causes of the poor quality of service offered by the operators. She stated that this finding challenges CIABAF - “We must achieve on short term basis, a very significant reduction of this harmful interference in the electronic communication environment, lest the ambition of the digital transformation of our Cameroonian society remains wishful thinking”.

Download  Minister’s opening speech at CIABAF’s November 2017 Ordinary session

This working session presided at by the Minister of Posts and Telecommunications, Minette Libom Li Likeng, was aimed at evaluating the implementation rate of the activities contained in their 2017 plan of action; the feasibility study for the construction of telecommunication towers in Cameroon; the evaluation of radio installations at the Mount Mbankolo site; development of manual procedures for assigning aeronautic frequencies; the recommendations from the restitution seminar of the International Radio communication conference of 2015; the management of the use of frequencies and the 2018 plan of action.

Major Resolutions of CIABAF November 2017 session

Reacting to reports of disorder on the Mount Mbankolo site from the technical secretariat of CIABAF, the Chairperson of the working session instructed that the Telecommunications Regulatory Board (TRB) should work in collaboration with CAMTEL and the CRTV to dismantle unused and unidentified antennas and towers which contribute enormously to the recurrent interference problems in the sector. The Ad hoc group assigned to figure out the actual causes of interference in the Mbankolo site also proposed a draft resolution laying down conditions for access to the Mbankolo site which is currently open to unidentified users.

Furthermore, the spectrum control mission carried out by the technical secretariat of CIABAF revealed that mobile telephony subscribers along the borders of Equatorial Guinea and the Central African Republic are obliged to pay roaming charges for mobile telephony services because of interference from networks in the neighbouring countries. Members of CIABAF therefore resolved that the TRB and the CIABAF technical secretariat should initiate a coordination exercise with the administrations of the neighbouring countries.

The TRB was also urged to resolve the problem of the assignment of digital dividend spectrum to operators of 3G and 4G technologies. The Regulator was encouraged to quicken the assignment of spectrum in the 700/800MHz band to mobile telephone operators so as to provide high speed internet and better access to mobile broadband services for all users.

Introduced by Law N° 2010/013 of 21 December 2010 governing electronic communication in Cameroon, amended by Law N° 2015/006 of 20 April 2015 and organized by Law N° 2013/0397 of 27 February 2013, CIABAF’s  mission is to minimize chances of interference  and ensure the appropriate allocation of frequency bands to all radio communication services.

CIABAF-committee-members at work