The Gambian Government has announced that they have issued a fifth mobile GSM operational license to Giraffe Telecom.
“I can emphatically confirm that we issued a license for a fifth operator in this country, and it is about necessity. Of course, there is a space for a fifth operator, it’s all good for the Gambian customers. If we have a new company, the others will start looking over their back and then see what this new player is doing to compete in the market and competition is good for the Gambian people.
PURA some months ago did a consultancy on a usage of spectrum and it’s a fact that almost 75 percent or more of the entire spectrum of the country is in the hands of two operators and sometimes they are not being used.
So, the spectrum alignment consultancy was meant to ensure that you keep what you pay for and what you use and the rest should return back to the state and ensure it’s reused for other purposes.
Looking at the market structures of GSM companies in this country, almost all of them with exception of Gamtel are majority foreign owned.
This one when it came before us: one important criteria, we asked who are the owners, what are the majority shareholders and we discovered through the documentation presented to us that between 60 and 70 percent are owned by ordinary Gambians who are doing business in this country.
I see no reason why we should not empower our own people to set up businesses in this (GSM mobile) sector for money to remain here.
When you give a license as it is with all the others that are having their current licenses, you have a window to deploy your equipment, test them and then operate.”Ebrima Sillah, Minister of Information and Communication