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 Politics: Gambian politics
 COMIUM’S LICENSES SUSPENDED
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Momodou



Denmark
10547 Posts

Posted - 05 Oct 2021 :  21:18:56  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
COMIUM’S LICENSES SUSPENDED

The Standard: OCTOBER 5, 2021

By Lamin Cham


https://standard.gm/comiums-licenses-suspended0/

The Minister of Information and Communications Infrastructure, Ebrima Sillah has suspended GSM provider Comuim with effect from today, October 5, The Standard has been reliably informed.

Two weeks ago, the company was given an ultimatum by the regulatory body PURA to settle D65M by October 1st in respect of its unpaid license requirements.

According to a correspondence seen by The Standard, PURA has reported that at the end of the ultimatum, Comium has still not fulfilled this requirement among others and the regulator has advised the minister to suspend the company’s licenses.

PURA had earlier said its suspension notice to the GSM operator was due to the company’s failure to pay licences and spectrum fees for 2020 and levies for the international gateway for 2021.

Pura added that these conditions are a fundamental part of Comium’s licensing conditions.

Comium Gambia is a subsidiary of the Comium Group Luxembourg and has been operating in The Gambia for the past 16 years.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 06 Oct 2021 :  11:12:25  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Don't pay for your licence then you will not be allowed to carry on your business,in this case no payment for a licence was made,it would be very interesting to know the history of payments for licences over the period of 16years that the company has been trading in the Gambia,PURA is very unlikely to take such action if only one payment has not been made.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 06 Oct 2021 11:13:38
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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2021 :  11:23:56  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote

https://foroyaa.net/comium-implores-pura-to-rescind-suspension/

==========

By Makutu Manneh October 6, 2021

The GSM operator Comium has called on the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) to lift the suspension of its network as their new investor is willing to pay all their arrears.

Comium Gambia’s management made this announcement on Wednesday 6th October 2021 amid the suspension of their network which started on October 5th.

The staff of the company, who were present at the company’s hall to attend the press conference, cheered upon hearing the news.

PURA served a notice to Comium suspending its operating licenses and gave the company up to 1st October to explain why they should not be suspended.

PURA said Comium Gambia Limited was suspended because it failed to pay licenses and spectrum fees for 2020, 2021 and international gateway levies.

Comium said with its new move and new investor, they will improve the economic situation of The Gambia and create additional job openings. The company’s management said they were surprised when PURA suspended them because they had due settlement and promising negotiations with PURA.

“When we left that meeting, we left with the knowledge that we have complied with PURA’s request,” said Lamin Drammeh, Comium’s Technical Director.

Director Drammeh said the sum of D65 million PURA said they owed the government, D42 million is their license fare for 2021 which is not due until end of December 2021. He added that out of the remaining D23 million they owed for 2020, 10 million has already been paid.

Drammeh said their debt now is D13 million and not D65 million PURA is talking about.

“When we had a meeting with PURA, we indicated that we will settle our 2020 arrear before the end of October,” he said. “So, we are appealing to PURA and the government. We think Comium deserves another chance.”

Haddy Danda Jabbie, legal adviser of Comium, said apart from licenses, they do not own any liabilities when it comes to corporate tax, social security and others.

“As a GSM operator, it is difficult to shut down the network even for an hour, it will kill the company,” she said. “The suspension has stopped most of our customers from enjoying the services that they give them.”

Ms. Jabbie said it is important that PURA listens to them and negotiate to find a way that they can continue having their staff, contracts and continue to work with the government and find a way to save the company.

Comium is a GSM mobile phone operator in The Gambia and is the third mobile network to establish in the country. It offers integrated mobile and telecom services.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Momodou



Denmark
10547 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2021 :  14:04:36  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Guest Editorial – Comium – the Facts, the Fiction and the Smoke
The Chronicle EDITORIAL: Updated Oct 6, 2021
By Sandigi Njie


https://www.chronicle.gm/guest-editorial-comium-the-facts-the-fiction-and-the-smoke/

Comium has been operating as the third GSM service provider in the Gambia since 2006 with a subscriber base of two hundred thousand or more as claimed and is a subsidiary of Luxembourg base global telecommunications giant.

Yet, Comium is the only GSM operator still on 2-2.5G while the world is presently on 4G getting ready to migrate to 5G. As a result, the Royal and Loyal subscribers of Comium have been denied enjoying the latest products and services available in the global telecommunications market.

As it stands, MoICI suspended Comium for failure to settle its 2020-21 licenses payment, and MoICI lifting the suspension in the absence of stringent measures to give room for a more serious investor would amount to a great disservice.

Why is Comium ignored all these years and allowed to operate on 2G without adequate improvement and failure to apply punitive action by the regulatory body PURA?

The regulatory body should be held accountable for not doing enough to ensure that subscribers of Comium are accorded the opportunity to select from the range of the latest quality products and services expected to be made available as it obtains in other countries.

Comium should simply face out and allow a serious investor ready to develop Hitech nationwide infrastructure with excellent countrywide network coverage to make a positive difference and absorb the current employee and impressive customer base. In addition, the new investor must endeavor to provide a fair cost of data bundle, air or top uptime, and better remuneration of employees with other incentives attached, among others.

Presenting a new road map before PURA, as an avenue, should not be enough to allow them back to the market as the esteem customers keep yearning to enjoy the taste of modern privileges in the telecommunications industry.

As stakeholders, we will not accept to be spectators and allow us to be taken for another long ride when what obtains in other parts of the globe is not hidden thanks to technology.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 07 Oct 2021 :  14:56:06  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
WOW !

a very interesting exposee of the workings of Comium and of the percieved faliurs of PURA

Times are achanging in The Gambia.!!!

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.

Edited by - toubab1020 on 07 Oct 2021 14:59:15
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toubab1020



11364 Posts

Posted - 13 Oct 2021 :  17:33:44  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
https://www.chronicle.gm/who-is-monty-mobile-the-rescuer-of-comium-gambia/

==========

Musa Keita On Oct 11, 2021

The name of the UK company investing in troubled Gambian operator Comium and, importantly, promising to rid it of its outstanding debts has been revealed. It is Monty Mobile.

Founded in 1998, Monty Mobile positions itself as a leading VAS and telecom solutions provider and an international SMS wholesale intermediary hub, working closely with worldwide mobile operators, aggregators, and enterprises to facilitate the international flow of voice and SMS across global markets.

Monty Mobile has over time extended its portfolio to include a wide range of fintech, data monetization, IoT, and mobile advertising solutions.

Comium is accused by Gambian regulator PURA of owing it over $1.3 million in non-payment of dues. As a result, the company came close to losing its license altogether earlier this month.

Yusupha Jobe, managing director of PURA, explained that beyond the financial aspect, Comium also failed to provide the state with the information required by law on investment. He said the telecoms regulator wants all of these obligations to be met. Otherwise, the company is inevitably close to revoking its operating license.

Lamin Drammeh, CTO of Comium, revealed that the operator recently welcomed a new international investor with whom a management agreement has been signed to resolve all current financial and network issues, including the introduction later of 4G and 5G. He stressed that the new investments would improve the country’s economic situation and create additional jobs with an increase of at least 30% of the existing workforce of Comium.

The UK-headquartered company has now invested in Comium, according to Drammeh in his press conference.

Comium services were suspended for a month on 5 October. Still, it somehow turned things around, when it managers declared at a press conference that a UK investor – now revealed to be Monty Mobile – was willing to clear all of its debts to allow the suspension to be lifted and to assist the operator in developing its services in the future. It also pledged to make a payment of 14 million Gambian dalasis (about $271,660).

Monty Mobile has worked with several African operators in the past. For example, in recent years, it has announced a collaboration with Somtel of Somaliland to implement two value-added services: My RBT (ring back tone) and missed call alerts. It has also reported partnerships with 9mobile of Nigeria and Glo Ghana, which chose Monty Mobile as their preferred international A2P SMS hub.

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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