Agence Ecofin, citing the Senegalese news site Ndarinfo, says that Senegal’s former minister of tourism and culture and president of the Future Media Group, Youssou Ndour, has announced his ambition to enter the local mobile market by securing the fourth mobile operating licence, due to be sold by the government. Using his own newspaper The Observer to set out his action plan, he said: ‘Future Media will [be in] position for the fourth phone licence in Senegal… We are Senegalese. Why accept some things we give to others?’
In March this year Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal, asked his government to ‘take practical steps’ to facilitate the launch of a fourth mobile network operator in the country. The call was made following a Council of Ministers session on 7 March, with Sall identifying current call prices as a key issue, along with the need to identify new mobile subscribers under the plan. The president went on to say that call prices for mobile services should also come down following the recent easing of regulations on incoming calls. Senegal is currently home to three mobile operators: Orange Senegal (formerly Sonatel Mobiles/Alize), Tigo Senegal (formerly SENTELgsm) and Sudatel Senegal (Expresso). The fourth licence has already been given the nickname ‘Youtel’ after Mr Ndour, who is most famous worldwide as a singer/songwriter.