Senegal plans to launch national mobile roaming later this month and allocate 5G licences before the end of July, the head of the Regulation Authority for Telecommunications and Posts (L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications et des Postes, ARTP) has announced.

Setting out the watchdog’s top priorities for 2023 at a press event last Friday, ARTP director general Abdou Karim Sall revealed the implementation of national roaming between the country’s mobile network operators (MNOs) – Orange, Free and Expresso Telecom – is scheduled for 17 May. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, the project is one of a number of steps being undertaken in response to demands from President Macky Sall to achieve nationwide mobile network coverage ‘as soon as possible’.

With regards to the introduction of 5G, meanwhile, the ARTP’s director general said he expects the licence allocation process will be completed before the end of July, with this taking the form of an extension to the operators’ 4G concessions. A provisional date of 31 May 2023 has been set for the launch of a competitive tender.

Notwithstanding the roaming arrangements, Mr Sall noted the regulator will also be conducting an audit to ensure the MNOs have achieved the coverage and quality of service obligations set out in their operating concessions. The cellcos have until 31 December to comply with these commitments. In addition to the obligations contained in the licence specifications, in April the MNOs agreed to undertake additional network investment in return for reduced penalties following an earlier QoS review.

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