Telecoms gateway liberalisation due in January

Thursday, November 02, 2017

The government of The Gambia has said it is looking into fully liberalising the telecommunications gateway, and a decision to this effect is expected by January 2018.

According to the Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Gamtel’s subsequent management takeover from July 7, for a period of six months following the termination of the MGI contract over the international gateway, ends in December 2017.

National ICT Agency

The establishment of the National ICT Agency is in line with government strategy to enhance coordination of activities in the sector, Minister Demba Jawo said.

The ICT Agency Bill has been drafted and will be presented to the National Assembly for adoption before the end of the year, he added.

National Broadband Network (NBN)

Jawo also said the government through Gamtel is set to implement the National Broadband Network (NBN) project. According to the minister, this follows the successful implementation of the ECOWAN Project.

The NBN is set to roll out additional fibres to the communities to help solve issues of digital divide locally and encourage operators to tap into the infrastructure and provide services to their subscribers throughout the country.

Jawo said the broadband network will seek to address the last mile connectivity issues in the country, including the establishment of a data centre for the government.  Its cost will run into $25 million to be financed as a concessionary loan from the EXIMBANK, and expected to be paid in 20 years.

Digital Terrestrial Transition (DTT)

It is important to note that the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure through the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is processing applications for TV stations following the adoption of the digital broadcasting policy (DBP) by cabinet.

“The policy will guide the implementation of the DTT as well as set out a prudent approach to the country to reap the benefits from the digital switch over (DSO) in terms of increased revenue generation and employment for the country’s youth,” Jawo added. 

Author: Sanna Camara
Source: Picture: Information Minister Demba Ali Jawo