Sonatel announces XOF252bn spend in network upgrades

13 Dec 2013

Senegalese incumbent fixed and mobile operator Sonatel has announced it has spent XOF120 billion (USD252 million) in network upgrades to compete with rivals, in particular mobile operators Tigo Senegal and Sudatel-owned Expresso. The amount was revealed by its marketing director Aminata Ndiaye at a press conference held in the wake of the publication of the Regulatory Authority for Telecommunications and Post’s (ARTP’s) report on operators’ performance vis-a-vis quality of service (QoS). Sonatel reportedly emerged as the best operator in the country, based on the ARTP’s metrics.

As reported in yesterday’s CommsUpdate, Senegal’s three mobile network operators are all expecting to have rolled out pilot 4G mobile networks by the end of this year, as they shift focus to meet pent up demand for data and value added services (VAS), and jostle for position in an increasingly competitive local market. In October this year Orange Senegal – wholly owned by Sonatel – launched it 4G network trials in the country, with managing director, Mr Sud Quotidien, quoted at the time as saying that its fourth-generation network will be able to support data transmission rates ‘in excess of 100Mbps or greater than 1Gbps’. Orange Senegal’s pilot covers four zones in Dakar and Saly, a tourist centre south-east of the capital. Also in October, Tigo and Expresso were granted temporary authorisations by the ARTP to carry out their own 4G trials over the period to 31 December 2014. Both are now expected to roll out their own pilot trials in the coming weeks.

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