- Senegal's national telecommunications company [SONATEL] has agreed to adjust The Gambia's internet bandwidth capacity from 34 megabits to 68 megbits by the end of April this year.
This announcement was made public after Sonatel and Gambia Telecommunication Company Limited [GAMTEL] signed a new memorandum of understanding. It also came on the heel of a recent visit by The Gambia's newly-appointed Minister of Communications, Information and Technology, Ms Fatim Badjie.
Apart from doubling the STMI capacity by the end of the year, the two national companies also negotiated the cost of the bandwidth, with GAMTEL expected to enjoy a 28% discount.
In a statement, the Gambian Ministry of Communication, Information and Technology said, "this increase in capacity will undoubtedly provide greater access and affordable high speed internet services to Internet Service Providers and consumers.
"A new microwave link will be installed in three months time to provide connectivity between Banjul and Kaolack, and through fibre optic to Dakar for enhancing GAMTEl’s network, and also serve as a back-up to the South Bank optical fibre in the event of fibre cut or damage," it said, adding that a technical committee comprising staff of both institutions has been set up to "regulate the spilling signals between the two countries' GSM operators [GAMCEL and ORANGE], especially around the borders."
This aims to eradicate the unnecessary and costly roaming signals subscribers face in their own territory, which is why SONATEL and GAMTEL "have agreed to reduce the charges for roaming by 50% to make it more affordable to the people of the two countries, and the bulk of the reduction would trickle down more to the consumers."
Through their technical institutions, the two neighbouring countries have agreed to utilise each other's expertise whenever the need arises.
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