The chairman of The Gambia Telecommunications Company Limited (GAMTEL) and The Gambia Telecommunications Cellular Company Limited (GAMCEL) has revealed that the fibre-to-the-business continued to be a star product in terms of revenue generation, thereby giving the company a competitive advantage over other operators.
Alhaji TSA Njie made this remarks on Monday while presenting his institutions reports before the Joint Session of the Public Accounts and Public Enterprises Committees (PAC/PEC) of the National Assembly.
Njie state that during the year connectivity increased by over 65% denoting the need to increase focus on the product line. “With the commissioning of the Next Generation Network (NGN), there has been a steady increase in the request for ADSL services, notably from the second quarter of 2014.
In addition, he maintained that to complement the fixed line telephony, a wireless fixed service called TAWA which was rolled out a couple of years ago was upgraded to also provide data services. The pilot project, he went on, was centered in the Brufut heights areas connecting four customers as a trail.
“When fully operational it would provide services to unserved and underserved areas, particularly in the rural areas.” he stated.
Njie disclosed that it is worth noting that towards the end of the third quarter of 2013, Government took control of 50% Gamtel share of the revenue generated from the International Gateway.
According to him, these financial statements therefore exclude revenue earned from this gateway thus reduction in total revenue.
He maintained that these were compounded by the frequent vandalism of the company’s fibre optic and copper transmission cables by unscrupulous people either for financial gains or to sabotage service delivery, adding that this menace reduced significantly in 2014 due to the excellent support provided by the security agencies.
Chairman Njie stated that during the year, the company actively participated in all ACE (Africa-Coast-to-Europe) project activities at the national, as well as the international levels to make sure the country derived maximum benefits from the venture.
“ACE as envisaged has transformed and revolutionised telecommunication services and delivery in the country with broadband and high speed connectivity to the outside world. The main challenge continues to be the ‘last mile’ infrastructure that would enable customers to derive the full potentials of the ACE cable.” he said.
He added that it is imperative that the company urgently modernizes its infrastructure to provide value added and innovative multimedia services which are best suited for fixed telephony, positing that this can only be achieved if there is massive capital injection either by the government or by partnering with a strategic institution investor.
by Aji Fatou Faal-Sonko