Following an appeal, Senegal’s Regulation Authority for Telecommunications and Posts (L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications et des Postes, ARTP) has reduced the fines imposed on the country’s three mobile network operators – Sonatel (Orange Senegal), Free (Saga Africa Holdings) and Expresso Senegal – last December for quality of service (QoS) failings. In order to ensure increased network investment, however, the companies are now required to earmark additional funds, not already provided for in their current plans, to improve coverage and service quality.
Sonatel, which was originally fined XOF16.727 billion (USD27.5 million), will now be required to pay a sanction of XOF2.51 billion and undertake to invest an additional XOF20 billion before the end of 2023, Saga Africa Holdings (initially XOF2.258 billion) will pay a XOF436.5 million fine and invest XOF1.7 billion, while Expresso (XOF1.028 billion) will pay XOF192 million and invest XOF1.19 billion.
To ensure the companies honour their commitments, the ARTP will implement a monitoring and control system which will be financed by the telcos. The regulator notes the new sanctions and conditions imposed on the MNOs will ‘compel them to substantially increase investments in network modernisation and performance, with a view to satisfying the needs and interests of all consumers, irrespective of their geographical location’.