Senegal Telecoms Market Report

Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

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Publication Date: December 2023

Report Pages: 155

5G trials continue in Senegal

Senegal’s telecom market continues to show steady growth in all sectors. This has been supported by the particular demands made on consumers during the pandemic, which resulted in a particularly strong increase in the number of subscribers. The mobile subscriber base increased 6.7% in 2020, year-on-year, and by 4.1% in 2021, while the number of fixed broadband subscribers increased 17.5% year-on-year in 2021. In common with most markets in the region, mobile internet platforms account for the vast majority of all internet accesses. Quality of Service issues continue to plague the market, with the regulator periodically issuing fines to the market players.

Orange Group’s local subsidiary Orange Senegal (Sonatel) remains the dominant player in both the fixed-line and mobile sectors. Free Senegal and Expresso Telecom provide effective competition, and though their relative market shares have been relatively stable since 2013, Free has more recently made some inroads to the share held by Expresso. This can partly be explained by the two-year delay in Expresso launching LTE services, and so losing new subscribers to its competitors. Both Sonatel and Free continue to pilot 5G services in the country.

Orange Senegal for some years held a near monopoly on the fixed-line, though moderate competition became effective after Expresso launched services as the second national operator in 2009. However, Expresso soon afterwards stopped investing on the sector, and it stopped providing fixed telephony services in September 2018. In February 2021, the regulator ordered the company to relaunch fixed telephony services, and so adhere to its licence terms. By the following September it had signed up several thousand customers.

Key developments:

  • Orange Senegal completes second 5G tests, with Nokia as partner;
  • Free deploys 5G pilot network, partners with Avanti Communications to build a satellite gateway;
  • National Digital Council of Senegal gets to work;
  • Intersat signs deal with Eutelsat Communications to deliver broadband services using the Eutelsat Konnect satellite, while Sonatel partners SES to launch a new satellite system for the African region;
  • Three MNOs are fined for failing QoS of networks;
  • ARTP reduces fines to support increased network investment and establishes a steering committee tasked with boosting network coverage;
  • Helios Towers acquires passive infrastructure assets from Free Senegal, commits $200 million investment in upgrading telecom coverage through to 2026;
  • Expresso launches e-money platform;
  • Digital Senegal 2025 program to cost XOF1,346 billion;
  • Report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2022, operator data to Q4 2021, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Sonatel (Orange Senegal), Free Senegal (Sentel, Tigo Senegal), Saga Africa Holdings, Sudatel (Expresso), Arc Informatique, Globacom, Mainstreet Technologies, Lycamobile Senegal

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