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GAMBIA

  • Gambia - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts, by Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd., October 2010: "Gambia's political stability has led to consistent healthy GDP growth which was barely affected by the global economic crisis. The country's telecoms sector is characterised by four mobile networks with a fifth network (Globacom) licensed in July 2010. Gamtel is the sole fixed-line provider. Although the incumbent has a relatively well-developed national backbone network including fibre, fixed-line penetration has remained low, which has also hindered Internet usage. With only three Internet service providers, the sector is not very competitive. Wireless offerings are competing with Gamtel's ADSL broadband service... 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, QantumNet. QCell introduced third generation (3G) mobile services to the country in 2009, including a mobile broadband service. A new Telecommunications/ICT Bill is expected to create a regulatory environment under which more competition will be introduced to more sectors of the telecommunications market. In view of convergence, the new law will be technology-neutral, which will also liberalise the use of VoIP Internet telephony. The partial privatisation of Gamtel and Gamcel in 2007 was revoked a year later due to non-performance of the new owners and is likely to be repeated in the near future."
  • "ICT Act 2009 Validated," Ministry of Information and Communication Infrastructure press release, 29 September 2008: "...The draft legal instrument, which takes into account good governance in ICT among others, probes into substance and issues of Licensing, Access and Interconnection, Spectrum Management and Numbering, Universal Access/Services, End User interests and rights and Personal data privacy and protection... it is a solution to diminish the overall insufficiencies of the Wireless and Telegraph Act of 1964, on which the legal administration of the ICT industry is dependent.. after the review, the government will look at it and the National Assembly will pass it in the next two months... Alagie B. Gaye, the Director General of the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA), delved into the significance of an Information and Communications Law to the regulatory effectiveness of PURA in the communications sector. He recalled that PURA was established in 2004 by the PURA Act to regulate public utilities and enterprises in the electricity, telecommunications, and broadcasting, water and transportations sectors. 'The PURA Act, as an umbrella legislation that gives the Authority its regulatory mandate for the mentioned sectors, needs to be complemented by sector specific legislations to allow the Authority to effectively address sector issues..."
  • According to Wireless Networks for the Developing World: The Regulation and Use of Licence-Exempt Radio Bands in Africa by Isabel Neto (May 2004), WiFi is licensed in Gambia, but there are no restrictions on power and there is a lack of enforcement. VoIP transmission over WiFi is not allowed.
  • "The regulator PURA (Public Utility Regulatory Authority) was established in 2004 and derives its funding from a 1.5% levy on the turnover of operators. It is jointly responsible for spectrum allocation with the ministry (Department of State for Communications, Information and Technology). Broadcasting spectrum appears to be managed by the ministry..." --- from West African Common Market Project: Harmonization of Policies Governing the ICT Market [in] the UEMOA-ECOWAS Space - Radio Spectrum Management, by Michel Schaar and Dr. Chris Doyle, International Telecommunication Union/the European Union, September 2005, page 11.
  • National Information and Communication Infrastructure Policy and Plans (first draft, 55 pages in English, December 2004).

Africa - Regional Overview