Telecommunications in the Gambia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Telecommunications in the Gambia includes radio, television, fixed and mobile telephones, and the Internet.

Radio and television[edit]

Radio Syd near Banjul
  • Radio: The state-owned Gambia Radio and Television Service has two AM stations (Bonto, Basse) and three FM stations (Bonto, Serrekunda, Banjul). There are also seven private FM stations in Serrekunda, Banjul, and Basse.[1] Transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available, some via shortwave radio (2007).[2]
  • Radio sets: 196,000 (1997).[needs update]
  • Television: The Gambia Radio and Television Service operates a single-channel TV service with the main transmitter at Banjul and numerous relay stations.[1] Transmissions of multiple international broadcasters are available; cable and satellite TV subscription services are obtainable in some parts of the country (2007).[2]
  • Television sets: 4,000 (1997).[needs update]



Internet censorship and surveillance[edit]

The Gambia is not individually classified by the OpenNet Initiative (ONI), but is classified as engaged in selective Internet filtering based on the limited descriptions in the ONI 2009 profile for the sub-Saharan Africa region.[10]

There are no government restrictions on access to the Internet or reports that the government monitors e-mail or Internet chat rooms without appropriate legal authority. Individuals and groups can generally engage in the peaceful expression of views via the Internet, including by e-mail. However, Internet users reported they could not access the Web sites of foreign online newspapers Freedom, The Gambia Echo, Hellogambia, and Jollofnews, which criticized the government.[11]

The constitution and law provide for freedom of speech and press; however, the government restricted these rights. According to the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders, "the environment for independent and opposition media remained hostile, with numerous obstacles to freedom of expression, including administrative hurdles, arbitrary arrest and detention, intimidation and judicial harassment against journalists, and the closure of media outlets, leading to self-censorship." Individuals who publicly or privately criticized the government or the president risked government reprisal. In March 2011 President Jammeh warned independent journalists that he would "not compromise or sacrifice the peace, security, stability, dignity, and the well being of Gambians for the sake of freedom of expression." Accusing some journalists of being the "mouthpiece of opposition parties," he vowed to prosecute any journalist who offended him. The National Intelligence Agency (NIA) was involved in arbitrary closure of media outlets and the extrajudicial detention of journalists.[11]

In 2007 a Gambian journalist living in the US was convicted of sedition for an article published online; she was fined US$12,000;[12] in 2006 the Gambian police ordered all subscribers to an online independent newspaper to report to the police or face arrest.[13]

The constitution and law prohibit arbitrary interference with privacy, family, home, or correspondence, but the government does not respect these prohibitions. Observers believe the government monitors citizens engaged in activities that it deems objectionable.[11]

In recent years before the 2016 election social media like WhatsApp, Facebook and Skype have been temporarily blocked in The Gambia. Since 30 November 2016, the evening before the presidential election, internet access, mobile communication and phone calls have been completely shut down by all providers, as ordered by the president of The Gambia.[14]

See also[edit]

  • Africell, mobile telecommunications company operating in The Gambia, Sierra Leone, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
  • Gamtel, the Gambia Telecommunications Company.
  • Qcell, Qcell Gambia Co. Ltd., the Gambia Telecommunications Company.
  • Comium, Comium Gambia Co. Ltd., Telecommunications Company, is fully owned subsidiary of the Comium Group Luxemburg.
  • Netpage Ltd., Netpage Gambia Co. Ltd., Telecommunications Company.
  • Quantum Ltd., QuantumNet Gambia Co. Ltd., Telecommunications Company.
  • Vizocom, a global satellite internet provider with coverage in the African continent


  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from The World Factbook (2024 ed.). CIA. (Archived 2013 edition.)
  • Public Domain This article incorporates public domain material from websites or documents of the United States Department of State.
  1. ^ a b World Radio and Television Handbook. Oxford, UK: WRTH Publications, Ltd. 2010.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l m "Communications: The Gambia", World Factbook, U.S. Central Intelligence Agency, 4 December 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  3. ^ Dialing Procedures (International Prefix, National (Trunk) Prefix and National (Significant) Number) (in Accordance with ITY-T Recommendation E.164 (11/2010)), Annex to ITU Operational Bulletin No. 994-15.XII.2011, International Telecommunication Union (ITU, Geneva), 15 December 2011. Retrieved 2 January 2014.
  4. ^ a b Calculated using penetration rate and population data from "Countries and Areas Ranked by Population: 2012" Archived 2017-03-29 at the Wayback Machine, Population data, International Programs, U.S. Census Bureau, retrieved 26 June 2013
  5. ^ "Percentage of Individuals using the Internet 2000-2012", International Telecommunication Union (Geneva), June 2013, retrieved 22 June 2013
  6. ^ "Fixed (wired)-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  7. ^ "Active mobile-broadband subscriptions per 100 inhabitants 2012", Dynamic Report, ITU ITC EYE, International Telecommunication Union. Retrieved on 29 June 2013.
  8. ^ Select Formats Archived 2009-05-13 at the Wayback Machine, Country IP Blocks. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Site is said to be updated daily.
  9. ^ Population, The World Factbook, United States Central Intelligence Agency. Accessed on 2 April 2012. Note: Data are mostly for 1 July 2012.
  10. ^ "ONI Regional Overview: Sub-Saharan Africa", OpenNet Initiative, September 2009
  11. ^ a b c "The Gambia", Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012, U.S. Department of State, 5 April 2013. Retrieved 4 January 2014.
  12. ^ "Africa Overview", International Press Institute
  13. ^ "Online newspaper hacked, editor smeared and subscribers threatened" Archived 2009-07-02 at the Portuguese Web Archive, Reporters Without Borders, 30 May 2006
  14. ^ "Gambia blocks internet on election day". BBC News. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2018.

External links[edit]