Gamtel to spend US$1.5 million to create back-up fibre link to Senegal


Gambia’s incumbent PSTN operator Gamtel has awarded a contract to Alcatel-Lucent to roll out a terrestrial fibre transmission network under its 'Cross Gambia Project', reports Afrique en Ligue. This will enable the country to have a back-up route to the SAT3 landing station in Senegal via Sonatel’s network. The existing route has been plagued with outages, especially during the rainy season.

A release from the telco’s Banjul office said the joint venture project with Senegalese counterpart Sonatel will extend fibre links from Dakar through Kaolack, Karang, Barra, Banjul, Serrekunda, Yundum, Brikama to Seleti in Casamance to terminate on Sonatel’s fibre network.

The new infrastructure will provide an alternative route to the fibre link between Basse in Gambia and Velingara in Senegal, which was implemented in 1996. As well as eliminating the serious problem of disruption to bilateral international traffic whenever the older fibre is cut, the rollout will also increase Gamtel’s international internet bandwidth. The telco has said it will spend EUR1.2 million (USD1.65 million) on the initial stage of the Cross Gambia Project in 2009.