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Celtiis preparing for 5G pilot

27 Feb 2023

Benin’s newest mobile operator Celtiis, a division of state-owned Beninese Digital Infrastructure Company (Societe Beninoise d’Infrastructures Numeriques [SBIN]), posted on Twitter on 26 February 2023: ‘Our next generation network is now fully 5G ready. We are actively preparing the pilot phase.’

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that SBIN – managed by Senegal’s Sonatel (part of Orange Group) – commercially launched 2G/3G/4G mobile services on 21 October 2022 under its new Celtiis brand as the country’s third cellco, competing with private sector operators MTN Benin and Moov Africa Benin, and claimed 80% national population coverage with its network from launch.

In an announcement earlier this month, Benin’s Ministry of Digital and Digitalisation (le Ministere du Numerique et de la Digitalisation [MND]) gave details of its ‘Agenda for the digital sector and digitisation’ for 2023, which includes ‘the extension of mobile sites and the 5G pilot phase.’ The ministry declared a total budget of XOF31.08 billion (USD49.95 million) to oversee a range of projects including: extension of mobile coverage in rural areas and the establishment of community digital points in eligible municipalities that currently lack them; new training curricula for digital professions; development of AI and data management applications useful to national programmes; continued implementation of ‘Smart Gov’ projects; implementation of digital transformation of local authorities; and several media sector projects.

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