Home5G & BeyondSenegal calls for applicants for 5G licences

    Senegal calls for applicants for 5G licences


    Government blocks mobile internet access after days of pro-opposition clashes with the police

    Senegal’s Regulation L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications et des Postes (ARTP) has called for applications for 5G licences. Only companies registered in Senegal and that have a licence to build and operate networks providing electronic communications services to the public can apply.

    The regulator said the launch of 5G services forms part of the government’s strategy “to strengthen very high speed connectivity and digital use in the country”.

    Interested candidates have until 1 July to request the tender documents containing the model specifications and concession agreement and the deadline for submitting applications is 14 July.

    They might seem like short deadlines given the enormity of the obligations they entail, but Senegal’s mobile operators have been revving for 5G since 2020.

    In November 2020, Orange Senegal (the country’s largest operator) staged the country’s first 5G test in Dakar with Huawei and conducted a second trial with Nokia a month later.

    Orange Group followed up by opening its first a 5G Lab in the country and on the African continent in July 2022 to test and develop 5G products and services.

    Free Senegal (part of Xavier Niel’s Iliad Group) deployed a 5G pilot network in Dakar in June 2022, with support from Ericsson.

    Government downs mobile internet

    According to reports by AP and others, Senegal’s government suspended mobile phone data on Sunday after days of deadly clashes between police and supporters of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko.

    The Ministry of Communication, Telecommunications and Digital Economy said it would suspend mobile data services during certain times because of the diffusion of “subversive messages in a context of public disorder in certain localities”.

    The government had already suspended access to some social media sites, such as Facebook, WhatsApp and Twitter, which it claimed were used to incite violence.

    There has been violent conflict between Sonko’s supporters and police, although it is not clear how many people have died. The government says it is 15 people, including two members of the security forces; the opposition says 19 people have died.