The race towards ultra-broadband technology in Senegal has gained momentum, especially with the advent of 5G, as the country seeks to cater to the escalating demand for broadband connectivity and evolving digital consumption patterns triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Now Sonatel, a subsidiary of Orange, a leading French telecommunications company, has emerged as the frontrunner in that race.
After a meticulous evaluation by Senegal's telecommunications regulator, ARTP, following its call for applications for 5G licenses, Sonatel's remarkable offer of XOF34.5 billion ($59.1 million) won the bet, outperforming domestic rivals, Free and Expresso, who submitted bids of XAF3 billion ($5.12 million) and XAF2 billion ($3.4 million) respectively.
The network operator is expected to finalize the concession agreement and specifications, which will outline the scope of its 5G coverage targets, setting the path for the implementation of its 5G network, and bringing advanced and high-speed connectivity to the people of Senegal.
Sonatel has a customer base of over 32 million mobile users across several West African countries including Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and Sierra Leone.
Senegal will now join over a dozen African countries including Nigeria, Botswana, Egypt, Gabon, Kenya, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Mozambique, Senegal, Seychelles, South Africa, Uganda, and Zambia that have launched the 5G network.