UK-headquartered mobile VAS solutions provider Monty Mobile and Chinese technology giant Huawei have announced a partnership to develop the network of Gambian mobile operator Comium ‘with ground-breaking products and solutions’. Monty Mobile – which assumed a management role at Comium earlier this year – said in a press release issued on 14 October that the new venture with Huawei will lead to ‘a substantial transformation that will unfold in 2023’ as it aims to ‘pioneer the latest cutting-edge technology on the African market’, ‘paving the way towards 5G networks’.

Monty Mobile CEO Marwan Khoury said: ‘Choosing Huawei … as a strategic partner to Monty Mobile, starting with Comium, is in line with our ICT vision for the African market. Gambia being our gateway into Africa, we will ensure that our success story will pave the way for an expansion across the region.’ CEO of Huawei West Africa, Lionel Liu, stated: ‘We are looking forward [to] this new long-term collaboration with Monty Mobile which will be a turning point in revamping Comium Gambia’s telecom infrastructure and the start of many upcoming projects in alignment with their vision to expand their operation across the African market.’

TeleGeography notes that Comium Gambia had been hit with a licence suspension order in September 2021 for unpaid debts to the regulatory authorities totalling GMD69.1 million (USD1.3 million) but, following an initial agreement that month with Monty Mobile, it was revealed that its new UK-based partner was willing to clear the debt and furthermore assist the operator in catching up with local mobile rivals in terms of service development. In June 2022 news indicated that the partnership had been cancelled after Monty Mobile gave notice of terminating a ‘supplementary agreement’ signed in January, making Comium liable to refund certain payments made by the UK firm; however, such reports appear to have been premature given the latest tie-up with Huawei.

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