Gambia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Gambia sees increased take up of mobile money solutions

Gambia’s telecom market is dominated by the incumbent telco Gamtel, which retains a monopoly on fixed-line telephony services. There are four mobile networks operating. The market’s leader is Africell, with a 62% share of subscribers as of November 2016, while Comium and QCell compete closely for second and third place. Gamtel’s mobile unit Gamcel is by far the smallest operator, with about 10% share. Mobile penetration is well above the African average, itself a testament to the poor condition of the fixed-line infrastructure and the lack of availability of fixed services in many rural areas of the country.

Although the incumbent has a relatively well-developed national fibre backbone network, low fixed-line penetration has hindered internet usage. There are only three licensed ISPs, which are small operators serving local areas, and so competition is minimal.

The launch of a second 3G mobile broadband service in early 2012 brought more competition to the internet sector also served by DSL, WiMAX and EV-DO wireless broadband. The landing of the first international submarine fibre-optic cable in the country in 2011, followed by a second one more recently, has dramatically increased internet bandwidth and reduced the cost of internet services for end-users.

Key developments:

  • QCell launched its Qodoo Mobile Money service;
  • Gamtel reports further declines in revenue;
  • Netpage launches’ Gambia’s first commercial LTE-based broadband service;
  • International Network Management Center (IINMC) opens, facilitating traffic on ACE cable;
  • Africell contracts Alepo for Data Solutions;
  • Mobile penetration broaches 150%;
  • Gamtel contracts Huawei for fibre backbone project;
  • Continuing political chaos following 2016 election;
  • Report update includes Gamtel financial data, Africell subscriber updates to November 2016.

Estimated market penetration rates in Gambia’s telecoms sector – 2016 (e)

Penetration of telecoms services: Penetration
Fixed-line telephony 2.2%
Internet users 16.9%
Mobile SIM (population) 154%

Companies mentioned in this report:

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
  • 3. Country overview
  • 4. Telecommunications market
    • 4.1 Historical overview
  • 5. Regulatory environment
    • 5.1 National Communications and Information Policy (NACIP)
    • 5.2 Regulatory authority
    • 5.3 2009 ICT Act
    • 5.4 Interconnection
    • 5.5 Universal Access Fund (UAF)
    • 5.6 Telecom sector liberalisation
    • 5.7 Privatisation
  • 6. Fixed network operator
    • 6.1 Gambia Telecommunications (Gamtel)
  • 7. Telecommunications infrastructure
    • 7.1 Overview of the national telecom network
      • 7.1.1 Wireless Local Loop (WLL), CDMA-2000
    • 7.2 International infrastructure
      • 7.2.1 Submarine fibre
      • 7.2.2 Satellite
  • 8. Fixed-line broadband market
    • 8.1 Introduction and statistical overview
    • 8.2 Market analysis
    • 8.3 Broadband statistics
    • 8.4 Internet Exchange Point (IXP)
    • 8.5 Fixed-line broadband technologies
      • 8.5.1 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
      • 8.5.2 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP) networks
      • 8.5.3 Other fixed broadband services
  • 9. Digital economy
    • 9.1 e-government
  • 10. Digital Media
    • 10.1 Videostreaming
    • 10.2 Communications: VoIP
  • 11. Mobile market
    • 11.1 Market analysis
      • 11.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 11.2 Mobile data
      • 11.2.1 SMS and MMS
    • 11.3 Mobile broadband
    • 11.4 Regulatory issues
      • 11.4.1 SIM card registration
    • 11.5 Mobile infrastructure
      • 11.5.1 Digital networks
      • 11.5.2 Other infrastructure developments
    • 11.6 Major mobile operators
      • 11.6.1 Gamcel
      • 11.6.2 Africell
      • 11.6.3 Comium
      • 11.6.4 QCell
      • 11.6.5 Additional licensees
    • 11.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 11.7.1 M-banking
  • 12. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics – Gambia – 2016 (e)
  • Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2016
  • Table 4 – Internet and social media user statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2016 (e)
  • Table 6 – Gamtel financial data – 2012 – 2014
  • Table 7 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Gambia – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Gambia – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 9 – Gambia's international internet bandwidth – 2002 - 2015
  • Table 10 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Gambia – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 11 – Internet users and penetration rate in Gambia – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 12 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2017
  • Table 13 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Gambia – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 14 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Gambia – 2010 - 2017
  • Table 15 – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration in Gambia – 2009 - 2017
  • Table 16 – Africell Gambia 3G mobile broadband pricing – 2016
  • Table 17 – Gamcel mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 18 – Africell mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2016
  • Table 19 – Comium mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2016
  • Table 20 – QCell mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2016
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Gambia – 2005 – 2017
  • Chart 2 – Internet users and penetration rate in Gambia – 2005 – 2017
  • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Gambia – 20025 - 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Gambia

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