Senegal’s Regulation Authority for Telecommunications and Posts (L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications et des Postes, ARTP) announced on Monday that it had ‘provisionally’ awarded Sonatel (Orange Senegal) a 5G licence, following the conclusion of a call for tenders to extend the scope of existing operating concessions. The regulator revealed at a press conference on Monday that Sonatel had bid XOF34.5 billion (USD59.1 million) for the authorisation, while its rivals Free and Expresso had submitted significantly lower bids of XAF3 billion and XAF2 billion respectively – far below the reserve price of XAF19.5 billion established by the ARTP.

Speaking at a press conference on Monday, ARTP Director General Abdou Karim Sall explained the main objective of the call for tenders was to select an operator capable of providing reliable and efficient 5G infrastructure as soon as possible, in order to meet growing demand for connectivity and communication in Senegal. ‘Following the examination of the submitted offers, the committee for the evaluation of technical and financial offers proposed to the Selection Committee to retain Sonatel, which was the only candidate to have fulfilled the conditions set by the regulations,’ he confirmed. The amendment to Sonatel’s concession agreement and specifications, including new 5G coverage obligations, will be signed in the coming days.

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