Orange Senegal, the wholly owned subsidiary of Senegalese incumbent Sonatel, and the International Bank for Trade and Industry of Senegal (BICIS) have launched a new mobile banking service (Mobilbank) in Senegal, offered under the umbrella of the cellco’s Orange Money brand. The pair confirm that Mobibank gives Orange users direct access to BICIS financial services through their Orange Money account. The move forms part of the bank’s initiative to strengthen financial inclusion in the country, according to the director general of BICIS, Pierre Beregovoy. Orange Money currently has over ten million customers in 13 countries in Africa and the Middle East.
Only last month, Orange Senegal announced the latest phase of its ongoing 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) deployment, launching a pilot trial in Saly, in Mbour department, less than a year after a successful test in Dakar in October 2013. Orange Senegal is one of the few operators in Africa to have dipped its toe in the 4G pond, and currently holds a permit to test services from the regulator, L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecoms et des Postes (ARTP). The cellco says its 4G pilot is now live in 40 locations including a dozen in the Petite Cote area (i.e. around Mbour, Saly, Somone and Ndiass Saly). The others are located in Dakar and all provide speeds of up to ten times those available on the operator’s 3G+ network.