Telecom regulator rules to allow VoIP services
This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Gambia’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:
- One of the most penetrated mobile markets in the region;
- The impact of the global economic crisis;
- Key statistics;
- Market and industry overviews;
- Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
- Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
- Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
- Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
- Infrastructure development;
- Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
- Internet and broadband development and growth;
- Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).
- Broadband and mobile data services and pricing trends.
Gambia’s telecoms sector has four mobile networks with a fifth one (Globacom) preparing to launch. Mobile market penetration is well above the African average. The national telco, Gamtel competes in the mobile sector through its subsidiary Gamcel against Africell and Comium, both with Lebanese backing, and QCell which is affiliated with one of the country’s leading ISPs.
Gamtel is the sole fixed-line provider. Although the incumbent has a relatively well-developed national fibre backbone network, fixed-line penetration has remained low, which has also hindered internet usage.
The launch of a second 3G mobile broadband service in early 2012 has brought more competition to the internet sector where ADSL, WiMAX and EV-DO wireless broadband offerings are also available. The landing of the first ever international submarine fibre-optic cable in the country in 2011, to be followed by a second one in the near future, will dramatically lower the cost of international bandwidth.
Gambia's largely tourism-based economy went into recession in 2012, but GDP growth is expected to reach almost 10% in 2013.
- Country gains direct access to international fibre bandwidth;
- 3G mobile broadband significantly cheaper than other broadband services;
- Mobile penetration to break 100% barrier in 2012;
- Fifth mobile network preparing to launch.
Estimated market penetration rates in Gambia’s telecoms sector – end-2013
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
Companies covered in this report:
Gambia Telecommunications (Gamtel), Gamcel, Africell, Comium, QCell, Globacom, Thuraya, GamNet, QuantumNet, Netpage, Airtip.