Orange, Senegal govt announce end of 4G test phase

By Issa Sikiti da Silva

Initially planned to end on 31 December 2014 but postponed to 31 March 2015, the test phase of 4G technology in Senegal has ended this week, the government announced on Tuesday.

Consequently, la Sociéte Nationale des Télécommunications (SONATEL), which operates the French cellphone brand Orange in this West African nation, informed its subscribers that it has stopped the experimentation phase of 4G technology.

The test was free throughout the duration of the testing phase, on instruction of the government.

“It was wonderful to have briefly tasted 4G for the first time in Senegal,” Sadio Diop said this week in the capital Dakar.

“We hope the state will speed up the commercialisation process to allow the technology to be available to everyone,” an elated Diop added.

But his wish might not come true as soon as possible.

The ministry of post and telecommunications, which has so far not called any operators to submit their licence applications, said the government would now start the procedures of calling in an international expertise in its quest to launch the commercialisation process.

This decision has been taken to protect the interests of Senegal and give it a chance to get the best results as it seeks to allocate the 4G operating licences, the ministry explained.

“We will keep you informed about the commercial launch of the 4G technology as soon as the authorities have set the terms and conditions,” SONATEL said on Wednesday.


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