There are four service providers in The Gambia's communication sector; GAMTEL (fixed line), GAMCEL, AFRICELL and COMIUM (GSM). A third GSM service provider, Q Cell, bringing the total communication service providers to five will become operational in early 2009.
In 2007 when a new operator, COMIUM entered into the market, interconnection issues among telecom operators presented PURA with challenges that warranted regulatory interventions to resolve them.
In October 2008 PURA issued the first of a two-phased regulatory intervention to reduce interconnection rates, with the second phase applicable in April 2009. This was intended to remove the high cost of off-net calls and enable consumers to have one mobile handset and operator instead of a handset for all operators due to the avoidance of the high cost of off-net calling.
A new Information and Communication Act was enacted which will further enable the communications sector to be effectively managed with clearly defined roles and responsibilities for both the regulator and policy makers.
Quality of Service (QoS)
Quality of Service regulations are intended to:
Create conditions for customer satisfaction by making known the quality of service which the service provider is required to provide and the user has a right to expect;
Measure the quality of service provided by the service providers from time to time and to compare them with the norms so as to assess the level of performance; and
Protect the interests of consumers of electronic communications services.
The QoS parameters will be uploaded as soon as work is complete.
PURA’s frequency planning management functions are specified in the Information and Communications Act.
PURA is exploring options to enable it have equipment that will provide an automated frequency management system to monitor spectrum interference. In addition, it also intends to acquire monitoring equipment to be used nation wide.
In the mean time, it uses an SMD4DC (spectrum monitoring software for developing countries) database to note spectrum allocations