Connecting Africa is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them. Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 3099067.


Orange Brings 4G to Burkina Faso

Article Image
Orange is bringing high-speed, LTE-based mobile broadband services to Burkina Faso following the award of a 15-year 4G license for the country's regulator, ARCEP (l'Autorité de régulation des communications électroniques et des postes).

The license is the first 4G license awarded in the country: Orange will pay 80 billion CFA francs (US$140 million) for the licence, with half of the total submitted as a down-payment.

Orange was also granted renewals on its 2G and 3G licenses.

The 4G licence was awarded following a government decision to introduce technology-neutral licences, which would allow mobile operators to use the spectrum awarded to them to deploy 2G, 3G or 4G LTE networks. Having deployed its 2G network on the 900MHz band, and HSPA+ (3G) on 2100MHz, it is likely that Orange will use the 1800MHz spectrum it inherited from Bharti Airtel for its 4G+ services. Orange acquired the Airtel business in Burkina Faso in 2016 and the rebranding was completed in 2016: The application for a 4G licence was handed in by Airtel before the acquisition.

The 4G+ service will offer mobile broadband speeds "10 times higher than the rate of the 3G. This is what will fundamentally change to meet users' needs," stated Ben Cheick Haidara, the general manager of Orange Burkina Faso.

Having already undergone extensive testing, the operator is already marketing what it calls 4G+, saying that services with mobile broadband access speeds of up to 150 Mbit/s will be available in the capital Ouagadougou this month. The operator is already instructing its customers how to configure 4G connections on Android and iOS devices with videos on its Twitter account.

The government is also expecting social benefits from the new technology. "This (4G) will give the e-learning system a big boost, by which pupils and students can easily access educational resources," enthused Hadja Fatimata Ouattara, minister for Development of Digital Economy and the Post.

According to the ARCEP annual report for 2017 (the most recent data available), Orange had edged ahead of its main rival Onatel to be the market leader with 7.5 million customers, while Onatel had 7.2 million. Telecel was a distant third with 3.3 million mobile customers.

— Wei Shi, Site Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub


Hot startup of the month: Pan-African fintech KamaPay

This month's hot startup is pan-African fintech KamaPay, which helps individuals and businesses make cross-border payments on the continent.


Afretec awards $3.3M in grants to African research teams

The African Engineering and Technology Network (Afretec) has awarded grants worth $300,000 each to 11 university research teams across Africa to advance digital technologies.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives


Deep dive into East Africa's tech startup ecosystem

New survey reveals a lack of access to investors, reliance on international VCs and global recession trends as the biggest barriers for East African tech startups to access funds.


Challenges and opportunities for women's tech careers

A new survey reveals that COVID-19, the cost-of-living crisis, skills shortages and a lack of mentorship have negatively affected women's career development over the past two years.


Survey: Opportunities for Women in Tech

Take our new survey for women across Asia, Europe and Africa looking at the biggest challenges and opportunities for women-led enterprises and trends in tech careers for women.

More AfricaCom perspectives

Upcoming events

London Tech Week
June 13-16, 2023
Queen Elizabeth II Centre, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3EE
Cybertech Africa 2023
August 1-2, 2023
Kigali Convention Center, Kigali, Rwanda
Africa Tech Festival, Home of AfricaCom and AfricaTech
November 13-16, 2023
CTICC, Cape Town
More Upcoming events

Guest Perspectives


Omdia View: February 2023

By Omdia Analysts

In February 2023 key events in the Middle East and Africa included a major Internet project for Africa's underserved by Liquid Intelligent Technologies and Microsoft as well as a 5G launch in Tanzania – that and more in this month's Omdia View.


Omdia View: July 2022

By Omdia Analysts

Kenya and Zambia move towards 5G with new spectrum allocations while Tunisie Telecom plans to shut down its 3G network - that and more in this month's Omdia View.

More Guest Perspectives

Partner perspectives

All Partner Perspectives

Like us on Facebook

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign Up