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Gambia - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Gambias mobile market reaches 100% penetration
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.

Gambias telecoms sector is characterised by 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.

Gambias largely tourism-based economy went into recession in 2012, but GDP growth is expected to reach almost 10% in 2013.

Market highlights:

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-2012
Market | Penetration rate
Mobile | 106%
Fixed | 2.7%
Internet | 13%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)

Companies covered in this report:

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


1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Gambia’s telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 National Communications and Information Policy (NACIP)
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 West African common regulatory framework 2005
4.4 New Telecommunications/ICT Bill
4.5 Interconnection
4.6 Universal Access Fund (UAF)
4.7 Registration of SIM cards
4.8 Telecom sector liberalisation
5. Fixed network operators in Gambia
5.1 Gambia Telecommunications Co Ltd (Gamtel)
5.1.1 Privatisation
5.1.2 Network infrastructure
5.1.3 Fixed-line statistics
5.1.4 Wireless Local Loop (WLL), CDMA-2000
5.1.5 National fibre backbone
6. International infrastructure
6.1 Submarine fibre
6.1.1 SAT-3/WASC
6.1.2 ACE
6.1.3 Glo-1
6.1.4 Other projects
6.2 Satellite
7. Internet market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet statistics
7.2 Internet connectivity
7.2.1 International access
7.2.2 Domestic backbone
7.2.3 Public Internet access locations
7.3 ISP market
7.3.1 GamNet
7.3.2 QuantumNet
7.3.3 Netpage
7.3.4 Other ISPs
7.4 Internet Exchange Point (IXP)
8. Broadband market
8.1 ADSL/SDSL
8.2 WiMAX
8.3 EV-DO
8.4 WiFi
9. Convergence
9.1 VoIP telephony
9.2 E-Government
9.3 Triple play
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Gambia’s mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Major mobile operators
10.2.1 Gamcel
10.2.2 Africell
10.2.3 Comium
10.2.4 QCell
10.2.5 Additional licences
10.3 Mobile data services
10.3.1 SMS
10.3.2 MMS
10.3.3 GPRS/EDGE
10.4 Third generation (3G)
10.5 Mobile content and applications
10.5.1 Mobile banking
10.6 Satellite mobile
11. Related reports
List of Tables, Charts and Exhibits
Table 1 – Country statistics Gambia – 2012
Table 2 – Fixed-line network statistics – 2012
Table 3 – Internet provider statistics – 2012
Table 4 – Internet user statistics – 2012
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2012
Table 6 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity in Gambia – 1999 - 2013
Table 7 – Internet users and penetration rate in Gambia – 1999 - 2013
Table 8 – Gambias international internet bandwidth – 2002 - 2011
Table 9 – Netpage unlimited WiMAX pricing – 2012
Table 10 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Gambia – 1999 - 2013
Table 11 – Africell Gambia 3G mobile broadband pricing – 2012
Chart 1 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate in Gambia – 2002 - 2013
Exhibit 1 – Map of Gambia
Exhibit 2 – West African common regulatory framework 2005

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