Gambia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Gambia’s National Broadband Network facing financial hurdles

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 providing effective competition. The market’s leader is Africell, with about 65% market share, 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 government has embarked on a National Broadband Network program aimed at closing the digital divide affecting many parts of the country, though in mid-2018 the terms of a loan required to continue work on the network were rejected by Parliament.

Key developments:

  • Africell launches LTE services, competing with QCell;
  • Gamtel takes control of international gateway;
  • QCell launched its Qodoo Mobile Money service, follows with LTE;
  • Gamtel reports further declines in revenue;
  • Legislation prepared to create a new National ICT Agency;
  • Government launches National Broadband Network project;
  • International Network Management Center (IINMC) opens, facilitating traffic on ACE cable;
  • Africell contracts Alepo for Data Solutions;
  • Gamtel contracts Huawei for fibre backbone project;
  • Report update includes Gamtel financial data, ITU data for 2017, recent market developments.

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
    • 7.2 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. Mobile market
    • 10.1 Market analysis
      • 10.1.1 Mobile statistics
    • 10.2 Mobile data
      • 10.2.1 SMS and MMS
    • 10.3 Mobile broadband
    • 10.4 Regulatory issues
      • 10.4.1 SIM card registration
    • 10.5 Mobile infrastructure
      • 10.5.1 4G (LTE)
      • 10.5.2 3G
    • 10.6 Major mobile operators
      • 10.6.1 Gamcel
      • 10.6.2 Africell
      • 10.6.3 Comium
      • 10.6.4 QCell
    • 10.7 Mobile content and applications
      • 10.7.1 M-banking
  • 11. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Top Level Country Statistics and Telco Authorities – Gambia – 2018 (e)
  • Table 2 – Gamtel financial data – 2012 – 2014
  • Table 3 – Historic - Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Gambia – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 4 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Gambia – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 5 – International internet bandwidth – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 6 – Historic - Internet users and penetration rate in Gambia – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 7 – Internet users and penetration rate in Gambia – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 8 – Fixed-line broadband subscribers – 2004 - 2018
  • Table 9 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Gambia – 1999 - 2009
  • Table 10 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Gambia – 2010 - 2018
  • Table 11 – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration in Gambia – 2009 - 2018
  • Table 12 – Gamcel mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 13 – Africell mobile subscribers – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 14 – Comium mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 15 – QCell mobile subscribers – 2012 - 2018
  • Chart 1 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Gambia – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 2 – Internet users and penetration rate in Gambia – 2005 – 2018
  • Chart 3 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Gambia – 2005 - 2018
  • Chart 4 – Mobile broadband subscribers and penetration in Gambia – 2009 – 2018
  • Exhibit 1 – Map of Gambia

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