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.
Source: UNECA-SCAN Report (2007)
*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.