Gambia's Gamcel Calls For Urgent Government Bailout

Gambia's state-owned mobile operator Gamcel is desperately asking for an urgent injection of capital from the government in order to stabilise its network and upgrade its infrastructure.

Addressing Gambia's National Assembly Gamcel's Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Johnson said that the bailout is vital to sustaining the company's operations.

Johnson declared that the company is struggling with significant financial constraints as is reflected by the limitation of its product offering to only 2G (while other operators had long deployed 3G and 4G) and its inability to compete successfully in the market.

Johnson added that the billing system had many adverse limitations and continued to limit the company's ability to generate maximum revenue as it can only provide the most basic voice services.

Due to its low investment, Johnson said that the company's revenue had been badly hit and that its ability to compete with Qcell, Africell and Comium was seriously endangered.

The company's woes began when the government cancelled the contract with MGI that was in charge of the International Voice Gateway Cable. This action negatively affected Gamcel's billing system.

Johnson said that in order to make sure that Gamcel's customers enjoyed uninterrupted communication services and to retain them, management had offered free Gamcel to Gamcel calls during this period.

This situation had then resulted in a significant loss of revenue to the company. Sales had dropped dismally and still continue to drop currently.

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