By Tabora Bojang
The Gambia government is set to sign a contract with an international technology firm to manage the International Gateway monitoring system of the country.
The Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure, Ebrima Sillah made this disclosure at the national assembly Monday.
Sillah told assembly members that government has come close to finalising the terms and conditions after going through a due tender process and the company that won the bid has since been identified and engaged.
“The contract has been prepared and the company is coming here on Monday or Tuesday for them to sign,” Sillah disclosed.
He said this would be a significant milestone for the Gambia because “we are now going to depend on a scientific equipment to monitor the volume of traffic of all the GSM operators in the country and also helps government realise in terms of policy what needs to be done to guide us grow the sector better,” he added.
According to the Minister, the system is expected to track and monitor revenue assurance for international calls coming in or out of the country and also monitor capacity turnover of the operators and the quality of services.
Sillah said the system will also eliminate the Simbox fraud and other related illegal activities that bypass the international communication voice and data traffic.
“Other features will come because we can scale the process to any level as we wish as a government,” the minister noted.
The Member for Serekunda Halifa Sallah asked if the intention is for government to directly collect all the revenue derived from the gateway.
Sillah responded that the government was not collecting everything, as operators were also getting percentage of the termination cost.
“Now that the gateway is liberalized, all of them are terminating the calls and it is going to be monitored centrally by PURA,” he noted.
Minister Sillah said the government has agreed that 50% of the volume of the calls terminated goes to the operators, 30% to the central government, 5% to the establishment of a national ICT agency, 5% to Gamtel, and 5% to defray the cost.