Gambia’s National Assembly has approved the annual reports and financial statements of state-run PSTN operator Gambia Telecommunications Company (Gamtel) and its cellular network operating subsidiary Gambia Telecommunications Cellular Company (Gamcel) for the year ended 31 December 2010. Gamtel reported total revenues of GMD1.4 billion (USD46.0 million) in full-year 2010, compared to GMD1.3 billion in 2009, and a gross profit margin for the year of 37%. It attributed the turnover increase to rises in international and interconnection revenue of GMD90 million and GMD22 million respectively. It also reported that the total cost of sales for the year amounted to GMD877 million, of which GMD432 million related to payments of interconnection charges to GSM operators for calls terminated on their networks, while GMD377 million represented payments to foreign carriers for carrying and termination of international traffic into the country. Also during the year under review, a cross-border project jointly funded by Gamtel and Sonatel of Senegal was commissioned, providing a new fibre link from Dakar through the sea at Barra via Banjul to Southern Casamance and increasing internet bandwidth. As quoted by the Banjul-based Daily Observer, Baboucarr Sanyang, managing director for Gamtel, said that mobile division Gamcel continues to face challenges including ‘network expansion, deployment of value added services, capacity building and financial constraints,’ adding that to overcome these challenges, ‘management continues to ensure the sustainability, viability, and profitability of the company through investing in expansion projects, other value added services and aggressive market activities.’ Sanyang revealed that the cost to the company of offering ‘free bonus’ services to mobile customers was GMD193 million in 2010, representing ‘39% of cost sales’ (with no comparable figure reported for 2009), while the operator also incurred ‘material cost’ of GMD86 million in 2010, down from GMD95 million the previous year. He added that this reduction was mainly attributed to the drop in dealers’ commission because of the introduction of electronic voucher (‘NOPAL’) sales.