Senegalese operator Expresso has launched its 4G network after extensive delays.
Expresso’s 4G/LTE network went live in Dakar, Mbour, Saint-Louis, Thies and Touba on 17th March, and the operator claims that it will extend coverage nationwide imminently. Its network allows subscribers to use eSIMs to activate 4G tariffs without a physical SIM, in what it claims is a national first.
The operator, which is the third largest in the market by subscribers, had planned to launch 4G/LTE services in March 2020 after being issued the relevant licence by the ARTP (L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications et des Postes) in February that year.
Even if Expresso’s LTE service had launched on schedule, it would already have significantly tailed those of its rivals Orange and Free, which respectively launched LTE offerings in July 2018 and October 2019. However, Expresso pushed back the launch, citing restrictions relating to the pandemic.
The operator went on to weather a turbulent 2020, with the ARTP at one point instructing it to invest more to improve its service quality or face losing its licence.