Gambian telecoms watchdog the Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA) has ordered mobile operator Comium to suspend its services due to its failure to pay licensing, spectrum and international gateway fees, The Point newspaper reports. PURA stated that Comium Gambia has been served with a notice of suspension and given up to 1 October 2021 to show cause why the regulator should not suspend its operating licences for non-payment of licence and frequency fees for 2020 and 2021 plus international gateway levies, adding that ‘all Comium subscribers are advised to secure an alternative service provider pending the final determination of this matter.’
The statement continued: ‘The public is further informed that Comium has been directed by the Authority to inform all its subscribers of the suspension notice served to them and Comium’s right to make a written or oral representation to the Authority on or before 1 October 2021. The Authority remains resolved to take into consideration any representation made to it by Comium during the notice period and the extent to which the public is likely to suffer losses, damages, or inconveniences if Comium’s licences are suspended.’
Lebanese-backed Comium won a Gambian mobile licence in 2006 and launched its GSM network the following year. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database it is the third largest of four Gambian cellcos, and has continued to focus on value, voice-based services, remaining the only mobile operator in the country not to have launched a 3G or 4G network.