Gambia’s telecommunications system under attack

Gambia’s telecommunications system under attack

The billing system of the Gambia’s telecommunications service provider has been attacked by a contractor, whose services have been terminated, disrupting services.

A Swiss company, MGI is sabotaging operations at the state-owned Gamtel’s cell phone subsidiary, Gamcel, where it was to build, train and transfer a billing system, that millions were paid for.

Gambian authorities said the attack poses a threat to national security and the country is losing millions from the service interruptions.

“The government has taken this attack as a deliberate attempt to sabotage the national communication system of the country, which is a clear threat to national security,” said Information Minister, Demba Jawo.

Gambian authorities terminated MGI’s international calling gateway contract as a first step to protect consumers and reduce international calling rates to the country.

The Swiss company, which was brought to the country by ex-dictator Yahya Jammeh, in retaliation withdrew its engineers working on a separate contract with Gamcel, shut down the billing system and now infiltrating it.

MGI has demanded Gambian authorities reinstate its international gateway contract and requested an unspecified amount to be paid by Gamcel to end the disruption.

“We will not be cowed by this cowardice action and will not subdue to any such threats and blackmail. We stand firm with the decision to terminate the MGI contract and we are more resolved today than before,” Jawo warned.

Gamcel has bypassed its system and allowing its customers to make Gamcel to Gamcel calls and access the internet.

Gamcel customers are unable to recharge their airtime and data and MGI is reportedly interfering with international calling gateway, causing Gamcel, Gamtel and the country to lose millions.

Jammeh has been accused of mismanaging the revenue from the telecommunication companies before flying and a commission is probing him for corruption allegations.

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