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Senegal invites bids for third mobile licence

20 Aug 2007

The government of Senegal is inviting companies to tender for the licence to become the country’s third mobile operator in competition with incumbents Tigo Senegal (formerly SENTEL.gsm) and Orange Senegal (formerly Sonatel Mobiles). The concession will also give the winner rights to provide fixed line and internet access services head-to-head with France Telecom-backed de facto monopoly Sonatel. The Senegalese telecoms regulator, the Agence de Regulation des Telecoms et Postes (ARTP), has set 31 August as the deadline for offers and will take the process into a second round if it receives more than one bid.

According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Senegal’s mobile market was home to more than 3.37 million mobile users at the end of March 2007, up from 1.94 million the previous year and 1.73 million in December 2005. Meanwhile, Sonatel added just 15,961 new connections in the twelve months to end December 2006 to boost its total to 282,573 residential and business lines, up 6% year-on-year. The availability of its PSTN is patchy at best, and fixed line penetration was less than 3% by the start of 2007.

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