On 16 September 2021, the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority issued a suspension notice to GSM operator Comium, accusing it of failing to comply with licensing conditions.

PURA had said the suspension was due to the company’s failure to pay “licences and spectrum fees for 2020 and levies for the international gateway for 2021.”

Comium was given a two-week ultimatum to pay off D65M and tentatively ordered to inform subscribers to get alternative GSM providers.

According to the regulator, these conditions are a fundamental part of Comium’s licensing conditions.

However, after Comium failed to pay the debt it owes, PURA advised the Ministry of Information and Communications Infrastructure on further actions, which has now suspended the GSM operator’s licenses for one month.

“…having highlighted PURA’s determination, I hereby uphold the decision to suspend your licenses effective 5th October 2021 to 4th November 2021,” Minister of Information, Ebrima Sillah, said in a letter seen by The Alkamba Times.

The operator has been ordered not to provide any services incidental to the licenses it holds, failure of which will attract criminal action.

Comium Gambia is a subsidiary of the Comium Group Luxembourg and has been operating in The Gambia for the past 14 years.

With just D10M paid in the D65M owed, the future is bleak for a GSM operator that first introduced Gambians to mobile internet and boasting of having more than 350,000 subscribers.

 

 

 

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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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