It looks like it’s finally the end for Gambian mobile provider Comium after the threat of licence suspension was held over it less than a month ago in an attempt to get it to pay a number of outstanding fees the regulator says it owes.
The country’s regulator PURA (Public Utilities Regulatory Authority) did not receive a written or oral representation from Comium answering the various charges against it on or before 1 October 2021 as requested (and as we reported) in September.
It has therefore ordered the suspension of the company’s licences. The licences cover 3G and GSM telephones and internet service, and international information and communications services.
PURA says Comium did, as requested, tell its subscribers about the original suspension notice served on the company on 16 September.
It didn’t, however, settle its remaining licence and spectrum fees. These amounted to 65,360,000 Gambian Dalasi (about $1,266,834.12) of which only D10,000,000 ($193,824.07) has been paid. There’s also the matter of international voice gateway liabilities of D3,803,308.58 ($73,717); D2,536,978.13 ($49,172.40) remains outstanding.
Information on such areas as investment plans, QoS improvement plans and new technology deployment plans was also requested and not received.
The consequence of this is that Comium can no longer provide services relevant to the licences it holds – or rather used to hold.
According to the Gambian newspaper The Standard, Comium is a subsidiary of the Comium Group Luxembourg. It has been operating in Gambia for 16 years.