The ripple effect of Comium Gambia’s recent free offer of 4G during the company’s 4G expansion during their massive expansion program prompted Inside Telecom to have a proper sit down with the Commercial Manager Isatou (Ida) Ceesay.
Although, by the end of our chat, it occurred to me that ‘ripple effect’ may not be the appropriate definition, if you’re a competitor to Comium, that is. ‘Blast wave’ would probably be more accurate.
Here’s how the conversation about Comium Gambia’s 4G expansion with Isatou (whom I will refer to from now on as Ida) panned out.
Inside Telecom: Ida, with a population of only two and a half million, does Gambia really need four network operators?
Isatou Ceesay: Honestly, no. Four operators is way too much with a fifth one on the way. Take Senegal for instance with a population of 17 million only has three network operators with Orange taking the majority share. With his many operators in the market there hasn’t been much competition for the consumer anyway. They have been forced to accept whatever is offered by the current duopoly with no recourse on the consumer’s side.
IT: How long will Comium’s expansion phase last?
IC: The expansion is rooted in demand, so as far as we’re concerned, this is an ongoing project to cater to our consumers’ needs. I need to point out, though, the testing phase is contingent on the regulators’ approval for us to go commercial with the 4G. After this happens we will still strive to not stoop to a price war, but focus on value.
Over 90% Geographical Coverage
IT: What will be the percentage of geographical area and population covered with this expansion?
IC: We plan on deploying the 4G nationwide with consistent coverage throughout the country. This will cover the population that has 4G enabled phones and want the best offers on voice and SMS.
IT: What will the ultimate economic knock-on effect be for the country?
IC: The enablement of Gambian society will be significant. The consumers will ultimately win because this is already triggering the other operators to try and compete with our offers. Consumers will see this, and make their own judgement.
IT: How will the market leader, Africell, respond to Comium’s initiative?
IC: They are trying to compete with our offers and engaging in a price war but it is causing them to lose more subscribers. Remember, Comium is the underdog here and the public loves a comeback story. The lines outside our customer care centers have not slowed down three weeks into this current promotion.
Into the Future
IT: Lastly Ida, can you explain Comium’s long term vision for Gambia.
IC: Comium Gambia’s long-term vison is to enhance our range of offerings with state-of-the-art technologies in order to expand the services and use telecom in service of human communication. Gambia is transitioning to an increasingly digital society which has huge ramifications regarding socio-economic upliftment. It’s our privilege and responsibility to be a significant contributor to that goal.
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