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.