Gambia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media - Statistics and Analyses
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.
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% (Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)