Sonatel has been granted a 5G license in Senegal by the country's regulator, the ARTP.

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Comms Update reported that Sonatel had bid XOF34.5 billion ($59.1 million) for the authorization of the license during a tender process that concluded earlier this week.

This figure was significantly higher than domestic rivals Free and Expresso, which had submitted lower bids of XAF3 billion ($5.12m) and XAF2 billion ($3.4m) respectively, which were both below the reserve price of XAF19.5 billion ($33m) established by the ARTP.

During a press conference, ARTP director general Abdou Karim Sall noted that the main aim of the tender was to select an operator to provide reliable and efficient 5G infrastructure as soon as possible.

"Following the examination of the submitted offers, the committee for the evaluation of technical and financial offers proposed to the Selection Committee to retain Sonatel, which was the only candidate to have fulfilled the conditions set by the regulations," he said.

Sonatel is a subsidiary of French telco Orange that operates across five West African countries; Senegal, Mali, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, and Sierra Leone. The operator serves over 32 million mobile customers across these markets.