Gambia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Gambia’s regulator calls for backup connectivity on submarine cables


Sydney, May 13, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Just released, this edition of BuddeComm report outlines the latest developments and key trends in the telecoms markets. -

However, Africell Gambia is by far the dominant player. The others include Gamcel, which in 2019 sought a government bailout to avoid having to close down operations. Revenue was insufficient to allow for investment in network infrastructure and technologies, and as a result its services were limited to voice and basic data. The network reach was also restricted to the main towns, and where it was available customers experienced serious network congestion. As a result, the company lost market share steadily, with the number of subscribers having fallen 81% in the three years to be beginning of 2021.

Comium has also suffered subscriber losses in recent years, again the result of inadequate network reach and capabilities. The company has similarly faced financial difficulties: having failed to pay fees and taxes owed, the government in October 2021 temporarily suspended its licence. The company was saved by an outside investment, which enabled it to pay a part of its debt. Nevertheless, its position in the market remains precarious.

The other operator QCell has fared better, and has seen its market share increase steadily. The company’s licence was the first in the country to include 3G services.

Recently, the government licensed the locally-owned company Giraffe Telecom to provide mobile services. No services have been set up yet, since no spectrum has yet been allocated to it. This spectrum is likely to be secured from concessions already made to the other MNOs, but which are underused.

Key developments:

  • MOICI grants Giraffe Telecom The Gambia ’s fifth mobile licence;
  • Eutelsat Communications signs deal with Intersat to provide satellite internet capacity covering The Gambia, Guinea Bissau, and Senegal;
  • Government confirms long-standing Gamcel privatisation plans;
  • Africell launches LTE services, competing with QCell;
  • Government liberalises the international gateway;
  • QCell launches its Qodoo Mobile Money service, follows with LTE;
  • Gamtel launches fibre services based on the National Broadband Network;
  • International Network Management Center (IINMC) opens, facilitating traffic on ACE cable;
  • Gamtel contracts Huawei for fibre backbone project;
  • Report update includes Gamtel’s financial data, ITU’s data for 2020, updated Telecom Maturity Index charts and analyses, regulator’s market data for Q4 2020, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

Gambia Telecommunications (Gamtel), Gamcel, Africell, Comium, QCell, Globacom, Thuraya, GamNet, QuantumNet, Netpage, Airtip

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