In Gambia a higher proportion of households have owned mobile
telephones (65.1%) than fixed telephones (20.6%). In the urban
areas, 76.5% of households owned a mobile as against 54.8% of
households having owned a mobile in the rural areas.
The provision of fixed telephone in the different categories of
the institutions is sufficient. Generally, the penetration rate
on the availability of telephone lines is at 42.0%. With regard
to the number of telephone lines in workplaces, the studies results
shows that on average only 4.0% of institutions do not have any
fixed lineset in the workplace. On the other hand, on the average,
31.2% and 33.7% of institutions respectively reported to have
one and at least two lines in the workplaces.
Reports show that the Gambia Telecommunication Company (GAMTEL)
has laid a fibre optic cable on the south bank of the river that
run across the country. The country has a fixed line telephone
penetration rate of 3.1%. The penetration rate of 6% in urban
areas and about 1% in the rural areas. Combined with mobile phones
there is a total penetration rate increased from 18.35% in 2005
to 21.6% in 2006.
There are 4 GSM operators
Gamcel, Africell, Comium Mobile and the latest entrant QCell providing
mobile telephone services via GSM 800-900 networks with
countrywide coverage. There was a rapid increase in the number
of mobile subscribers in the Gambia since 2001. The mobile telephone
penetration rate has increased from 7.3% in 2003 to 16.9% in 2006.
A number of Tele-Centres existed in both the urban and rural areas
making the phone services accessible to the general populace in
almost all parts of the country.
Fixed Telephony System:
There has been a significant increase in the number of telephone
line subscribers over the three years period despite the fact
that rates for fixed line local calls during non-busy and busy
periods have doubled, i.e. have increased from D0.30 per minute
to D0.60 per minute.
*Note: Since the report of 2007 there has been a rapid rise in
the use of smartphone technology and a dramatic fall in the subscription
of phone land line use.