Expresso Telecom, Senegal’s third largest mobile network operator (MNO) by subscribers, officially launched its 4G LTE network on 17 March, following delays caused by financial and administrative issues. The operator revealed at a press conference that 4G services are already available in Dakar, Thies, Mbour, Touba and Saint-Louis, and that coverage will soon be extended across the country. Expresso claims to be the country’s first MNO to support eSIMs, enabling subscribers to activate their 4G mobile plans without obtaining a physical SIM card.
Expresso was granted a 4G LTE licence by the Authority of Regulation of Telecommunications and Posts (L’Autorite de Regulation des Telecommunications et des Postes, ARTP) in late February, after the regulator threatened to withdraw its operating licence due to poor service quality and a lack of network investment. Whereas rivals Orange and Free have been offering LTE services since July 2018 and October 2019 respectively, Expresso was forced to postpone its original plan to launch its own LTE network in March 2020, ostensibly due to COVID-19 related restrictions.