BMA has learnt that Senegal’s telecom regulator ARTP issued a call for applications for 5G licenses. The regulator is thus keeping its promise to launch commercial ultra-broadband in the country in 2023.

In a statement, the regulator indicates that only companies incorporated under local law can apply. They should also have a valid license authorizing them to establish and operate a network open to the public and to provide electronic communications services as of the application submission date.

The launch of 5G is part of the Senegalese government’s drive “to strengthen very high-speed connectivity and digital use in the country”, in line with the Digital Economy Acceleration Project (PAEN), funded by the World Bank to the tune of US$150 million.

Telecom companies in Senegal have been getting ready for 5G since 2020. After completing a second successful test in December 2021, SONATEL demonstrated its capacity to supply ultra-broadband. In June 2022, its rival Free began a testing phase with technical assistance from the Swedish technology company Ericsson. Orange also established a 5G testing facility nationwide in July 2022.

The ultra-broadband technology is expected to help meet the population’s growing need for broadband connectivity and new digital consumption patterns stemming from Covid-19. It should also guarantee more significant revenues for telecom companies and the State.

Interested investors must submit their applications by July 14.

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