- The Gambia’s efforts to provide wireless telephones to 350 villages have been hampered by insufficient funds, the Communications and Information Technology Minister, Nenneh Macdouall-Gaye, told the parliament.
She said Gambia Telecommunications Company Ltd (Gamtel), the country's telecommunications provider, needs to raise US $1.9 milllion to complete the rollout of wireless links to the rural communities.
In 2005, Gamtel first rolled out fixed wireless local telephony services using CDMA technology with a local brand name of Jamano. Most Gambians, especially those in the urban areas, questioned the security of Jamano. They saw it as the government’s scheme to tap private calls in and out of the country.
Apparently, the government opted for the Airspan without explaining the reasons.
But according to Mrs Macdouall-Gaye, the Airspan wireless installed by Gamtel in rural and semi-rural Gambia has proven to be costly, hence the delays. She said the residential lines provided via Airspan each cost US $3,000, which is why the government is planning to provide install CDMA, which is cheaper in some rural communities.
Mrs Macdouall-Gaye said while the Airspan project is being reviewed, the government has halted connection work for the earmarked villages. In the meantime, the government is also making efforts to borrow additional funds from banks in the country.
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