Togo First reports that local mobile network operator (MNO) Togo Cellulaire (Togocel) has used the anniversary of its 20th year of operations to announce the successful launch of commercial 4G LTE services. The state-owned cellco, which along with fixed telephony operator Togo Telecom has been merged into a new entity called Togocom, confirmed the launch via Twitter last Sunday: ‘Togo Cellulaire thanks you for these past 20 years of loyalty and now brings you 4G LTE’. Togocel went on to say that people wishing to sign up for the advanced network will need to purchase a compatible SIM card and have access to a device (smartphone, tablet or router) that supports LTE. TeleGeography notes that, based on previous announcements, the MNO is targeting the capital Lome from launch, but under the terms of its licence award must cover 40% of the population by 2022.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, on 11 June 2018 the Authority of Posts & Telecommunications Regulation (ART&P) in Togo issued 4G mobile licences to the country’s two incumbent MNOs, Togocel and Moov Togo, allowing them to offer ultra-fast mobile internet and kick start the availability of financial services within the framework of the 2018 Finance Act. The awards were accompanied by 2G and 3G licence renewals for both cellcos. All existing and new 2G/3G/4G licences now run until 2032. Previously, in October 2016 the Minister of Posts & Digital Economy began official talks with Togocel and Moov concerning the award of 4G licences with the aims of driving down prices, improving service quality and boosting the availability of broadband internet on the national level. At one time it was speculated that the government would also look to open the field to an oft-mooted third mobile player, but seemingly the Togocel-Moov duopoly is set to continue.