Gambia Telecommunications Cellular Company (Gamcel), a subsidiary of state-backed Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel), has initiated a competitive tender to attract a private sector partner to improve the quality of its mobile services, Gambian newspaper The Point reports. The bidding process seeks a partner with the expertise to modernise Gamcel’s existing 2G/3G GSM/W-CDMA network to provide 3G, 4G and 5G services, raise network user capacity and improve service delivery.

The project specification includes the following components: deploy a core 4G/5G network and upgrade the current 3G core; provide a robust state-of-the-art billing system; and roll out an access network spanning 250 3G/4G sites and 25 5G sites.

The company stated that the proposed network modernisation and enhancement project ‘is designed to address Gamcel’s network problems such as: coverage, access and quality of services; network stability (transmission, backhaul and power); and business support system/billing (revenue assurance, seamless service delivery, value added services [VAS] and third-party integration)’. Prospective partners must submit a non-refundable USD10,000 fee to receive the full bidding documents.

TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that Gamcel is Gambia’s smallest mobile operator by subscriptions, with an estimated 4% market share at end-September 2022, behind fellow minnow Comium, whilst the local division of UK-headquartered Africell leads the market comfortably ahead of homegrown operator QCell in second place.

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