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Senegal mobile operators boycott 4G tender process

Senegal mobile operators boycott 4G tender process


Mobile phone internet users in Senegal will have to wait a while longer to enjoy faster internet connection on their phones. This follows a boycott on Monday of the launch of a tender for 4G license by telecoms operators Tigo, Orange and Expresso.

The three main operators shunned calls for applications for the allocation of licenses and frequencies to make way for the use of 4G mobile technologies.

In a joint letter addressed to the Director General of the Regulatory Agency for Posts and Telecommunications (ARTP), the operators protested the license reserve price of 30 billion CFA francs for each of the 20-year concessions.

The Senegalese authorities however say the price is “justified” explaining that ARTP took into consideration the obligations of the licence, the market potential of 4G and the best international standards.

The ARTP has meanwhile criticized the illegal approach of the operators and asked them to respect the public procurement code and rules of the state.

Following the failed first call for applications from local operators, the Regulatory Authority intends to restart the 4G licensing process again, this time opening the call for applications to new entrants and international telecommunications operators who wish to develop Senegal’s mobile market.

It is believed the trio may have already ruled themselves out of the process as they have thrown into doubt the government’s planned commercialization date for LTE-based services in that country.