Maroc Telecom-backed Onatel has reportedly secured an XOF40 billion (USD69.5 million) loan from Banque Atlantique, which it will use to fund its acquisition of a 4G licence. According to local news site Burkina24, the agreement was signed on 19 March, and paves the way for the telco acquire a concession from the Ministry of the Development of Digital Economy and Posts (Ministre du Developpement de l’Economie Numerique et des Postes, MDENP). Onatel managing director Sidi Mohamed Naimi told the website: ‘The [LTE] network is ready. All that remains is to sign the specifications and hand over the cheque to pay for the licence.’ (TeleGeography notes that Onatel staged a 4G trial in Manga, a town in the Centre-Sud Region, on 11 December 2018.)
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, domestic rival Orange Burkina Faso paid XOF40 billion for a 15-year 4G concession in January this year and committed to pay a further XOF40 billion to renew its existing 2G/3G licences.