By Ramatoulie Jawo
The Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel) on Friday signed a master service agreement for cross Gambia two (CG2 ) netwrok.
The Gamtel-Free Business partnership is meant to foster working relations between the two institutions.
The signing ceremony was attended by the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy and top officials of both institutions.
The Managing Director of Gamtel, Mr. Lamin A. Tunkara welcomed the move.
He said the debate over internet access services has become a bone of contention where in some cases it may be deemed as a basic human right. As a key player in the business of providing telecommunication services vis-IOT to the people, Gamtel had aligned itself to provide reliable and affordable Internet in the country.
He said in their quest to achieve that, Gamtel over the years has toiled hard to provide the services and it not been an easy journey. “We have always wanted a Zero Internet Down Time nationally; but that has been elusive”.
The Managing Director said this was the reason they opted for the option of getting an additional bilateral network link for internet access.
“It was not an easy journey. We were met with numerous challenges yet, determined to succeed, and indeed we did. It was costed us about GMD36 million and with government’s approval and Board of Directors endorsement,” Tunkara Continue .
Tunkara highlighted that it is where their ‘great’ partner FREE Business comes in, to boast the prevailing opportunities to connect and have access to the global Internet.
“You will agree with me it is a national embarrassment for a country to experience a mere five minutes internet outage talk less of hours. Well as often said, the longest journey comes to an end, and hopefully we have come to the end of our internet woes or misery with this historic signing with Free,” he said .
The General Manager of Free Business, Mamadou Mbengue said Gamtel would provide FREE with two dark fiber lines that would cross Gambian territory, and in return Free Business would also provide Gamtel with an internet connection with a capacity of 8 Gbps.
“Our new partner Gamtel will be able to benefit from a special commercial offer for the rental of additional internet capacity, up to an additional 50 Gbps. But we wanted to go further than a simple exchange of processes,” he said.
Mr Mbengue said by this agreement, they wanted to set up direct connections between there two operators First, a SIP connection so that international voice traffic can be done in the best possible way so that their users can travel from one country to another without feeling the negative effects in terms of the telephone network .
“But beyond that, we wanted to go even further, and we are committed to offering data roaming, so that users between our networks are not penalized when traveling,” he added.
Honourable Ousman Bah, Minister of Communication and Digital Economy said it’s high time for the telecommunications companies to build partnership to strengthen their services.
Free business is a telecommunications company in Senegal that provides telecommunications and internet services.