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.

4G/5G

Sonatel opens Orange 5G Lab in Dakar

Article Image
Orange Group's Senegalese subsidiary, Sonatel, has opened a 5G Lab in the capital, Dakar.

According to a statement, the 5G facility is the group's first on the continent and will be used to test and develop fifth-generation products and services.

The Orange Digital Centre in Senegal, launched back in 2019, and the new 5G Lab will now enable Senegalese companies to discover more about the technology, develop use cases, and test new products and services on an experimental 5G network.

"With this Orange 5G Lab in Dakar, we will support companies in the country and the region on the uses of 5G by providing them with a dedicated space to test and develop the applications and services of tomorrow around the 5th generation of mobile network," said Sonatel's managing director, Sékou Dramé, in a statement.

The telco staged the West African country's first 5G test in Dakar in November 2020 when it partnered with Chinese hardware vendor Huawei, and a second test was carried out in collaboration with Finland's Nokia in December 2021.

"5G is a lever for business competitiveness and regional development. This is why Orange is committed to a co-innovation approach around 5G to create the uses of tomorrow. Territorial anchoring is key in the Orange 5G Lab system, to support the digital transformation of economic players, and to help everyone take advantage of the potential of 5G," added Orange's technology and innovation executive director, Michaël Trabbia.

MEA growth continues

Orange operates in 18 countries in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and has over 130 million customers in the region.

Sonatel, in which Orange owns a 42.33% stake, has almost 30 million customers in West Africa. Besides Senegal, it is also present in Mali, Guinea, Guinea Bissau and Sierra Leone.

The MEA region is one of the Orange Group's major growth engines, with revenue rising 10.6% year-on-year to almost €6.4 billion (US$6.7 billion) for the year ended December 31, 2021.

5G speeds welcome

The opening of the facility comes at the right time and brings ultra-fast Internet speeds which will be welcomed by Senegal's citizens.

Statistics from Datareportal show that there were 8.1 million Internet users in Senegal in January 2022, which gives the country an Internet penetration rate of just 46%.

Even though Internet users in the country increased by 209,000 between 2021 and 2022, more than half the population, about 9.41 million people, are still not using the Internet.

Therefore, the Orange 5G data lab will come at an opportune time as data connectivity in the country is increasing.

Data published by Ookla has indicated that Internet users in Senegal are getting 17.86 Mbit/s medium Internet connection speed from cellular networks and 20.71 Mbit/s fixed Internet connection speed.

The data also revealed that the median mobile Internet connection speed in Senegal increased by 1.69 Mbit/s, or 10.5%, in the 12 months to the start of 2022.

Meanwhile, Ookla's data shows that fixed Internet connection speeds in Senegal increased by 39.7%, or 5.89 Mbit/s, during the same period.

Related posts:

*Top image is of Senegalese flag (Source: Red flag photo created by www.slon.pics - www.freepik.com).

— Matshepo Sehloho, Associate Editor, Connecting Africa

Innovation hub

Video

Interview: Qualcomm execs on mentorship for African startups

Qualcomm Technology VP for Engineering, Sudeepto Roy, and Elizabeth Migwalla, VP for Government Affairs, join Connecting Africa for a video interview about Qualcomm's Make in Africa Mentorship Program.

Story

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.

More Innovation hub

Latest video

More videos

Sponsored video

More videos

Industry announcements

More Industry announcements

Flash poll

All polls

Africa Tech Perspectives

Story

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.

Story

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.

Story

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

Story

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.

Story

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