By Ramatoulie Jawo
Officials from GAMTEL/GAMCEL presented their activity report and financial statement for 2021 to the National Assembly standing committee on Public Enterprises Committee on Wednesday 7th February 2024.
Lamin A. Tunkara, Managing Director of GAMTEL, provided insights into the company’s activities during the reporting period. He highlighted GAMTEL’s commitment to expanding broadband network coverage nationwide as part of its three-year turnaround strategy, aimed at delivering reliable and affordable telecommunications services to citizens.
“During the period under review, GAMTEL continued to focus its broadband connectivity strategy on the fiber optic deployment and has expanded its coverage to new areas such as Kotu exchange, Brufut exchange, Brikama exchange, Serekunda exchange, Bakau exchange, Bundung exchange, Basse and Bansang,” he said
He explained that the expansion was strategically designed to capitalize on existing fiber network infrastructure, thereby enhancing revenue generation to offset investment costs and yield better returns.
“Notwithstanding, it is worth reiterating that the strategy above was pivoted to help narrow the last mile connectivity knowing that the National Broadband Network (NBN) has limitations on the last mile connectivity to homes and businesses,”
Tunkara highlighted GAMTEL’s shift towards prioritizing data services, resulting in significant revenue growth from GMD 172 million in 2019 to GMD 341 million for the reviewed period.
“This change in strategic focus has led to a steady growth in data revenue from GMD172 Million in 2019 to GMD227 Million in 2020 to GMD341 Million for the period under review,” he highlighted.
Tunkara noted that despite facing operational and financial hurdles, the management and board of Gamtel have remained receptive to exploring investment opportunities through partnerships and self-financing to provide innovative services and enhance revenue. He then proceeded to outline the challenges encountered by his institution during the review period.
“In 2021, we continue to have challenges in retaining and attracting highly trained and skilled manpower as they leave for other entities within the ICT sector, which has left us with critical skill gaps in specific departments,” he said.