PURA hosts cross-border bilateral meeting on Radio Communication, GSM frequencies


By Fatou Dahaba

The Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) is holding a three-day bilateral meeting on Cross Border Coordination of Radio Communication and GSM Frequencies with their counterparts from Senegalese Telecommunications Service Provider.

The event commences on Wednesday, 3rd May 2023, at the African Princess Hotel in Kololi, under the theme: “Coordination for Effective Communication,’ and is sanctioned by the regulators (The Gambia Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) and Autorité de Régulation des Télécommunications et des Postes (ARTP) of Senegal for Telecommunication operators in the border countries such as the Gambian and Senegalese operators to negotiate equitable preferential Broadcast Control Channel(BCCH) and Traffic Control Channel (TCH) frequencies to minimize harmful interference along border areas.

The Director General of PURA, Yusupha M. Jobe, said The Gambia and Senegal are members of the International Telecommunications Union (ITC), Africa Telecommunications Union (ATU), and ECOWAS.

He informed the meeting that ITU, in which both countries are members, recommends meeting periodically to coordinate and harmonize the spectrum resources to ensure efficient delivery of interference-free service to customers, especially border areas. He added that the three days forum will go a long in achieving its objectives.

“The workshop will avail opportunities for operators between The Gambia and Senegal to network, share experiences, identify successes and or challenges and chart a way forward for a closer collaboration to improve the quality of service delivery to their esteem customers,” the Pura Boss told participants.

Mr. Jobe further stated that an increasing proportion of the population uses communication service devices in their personal and business lives, which depend on radio spectrum availability.

He said services such as Television, FM Radio, Very Small Amateur Satellites (VSAT) used by Embassies, Wireless Cellular Operators, Internet Service Providers, Amateur Radio, and Maritime and Aeronautical Services, among others, all use the radio communications spectrum.

In this vein, he said there is a need to review the respective spectrum management frameworks to facilitate the realization of the broadband goals as a strategic intervention towards the objectives of ensuring conducive policy, legal and regulatory framework responsive to industry demands and also to increase access and usage of ICT in countries to transform the economies and improve service delivery, among others.

Representing the Director General of ARTP Senegal, Mandialy Bodian, said the meeting will be fruitless if common issues affecting the neighboring countries still need to be addressed, adding that the starting ground has to begin in the ongoing discussion.

Modou Ceesay, who deputizes the Minister of Communication and Digital Economy, said radio waves have no border and do not follow national boundaries.

“Therefore, it is essential to have a coordinated and consistent approach across the borders to enable smooth communication and exchange of information and service,” He added.

According to Ceesay, coordination is essential for public safety organizations as they rely on radio communication networks to support critical operations such as emergency response and disaster management.

“Without coordination, there would be significant disruption in communication which could lead to a delay in providing help and assistance to the people in need,” he added.

In fulfilling the ITU recommendations, four regional meetings were held between the Gambia, Guinea Conakry, Guinea Bissau, Mauritania, Mali, Cape Verde, and Senegal, the Secretariat for the cross-border region.


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