WAITING FOR THE SENEGALESE SNO – OVER TWO YEARS AND COUNTING

Telecoms

It has been over two years since the Senegalese Government announced that it would licence a second national operator to compete with the national telco incumbent Sonatel. Other than some informal ministerial remarks at a public event a couple of months ago, there has been no licensing tender or any idea of what form the SNO licence will take.

Sources close to both the Government and the regulator ART were saying back in July that an announcement was only two weeks away. But since then there has been no sign of the new competitive entrant.

Meanwhile Senegal remains a market in which Sonatel has really only one competitor of any scale, Sentel. And this situation is further cemented by the President’s ICT advisor (who has said publicly that he will be overseeing the SNO tendering process) sitting on the Board of Sonatel.

Interest was stirred this week by a report in local newspaper Le Messager that rather ambiguously claimed that Swiss-owned Amitelo was a third operator in Senegal. It should be so lucky….but when will the Appel d’Offre for SNO see the light of day? And what’s holding things up?