REVEALED: Gamtel haemorrhages as systematic gateway bypass continues
As Gambians continue to suffer high cost of international calls to Gambia, due to an endemic SIMBOX fraud, a Gamtel insider has laid bare the troubles of Gamtel as a result of lack of proper Gateway management system since the departure of MGI. Below, we reproduce vebertim, an insider’s insight into the Gamtel’s battles in this very important sector of the Gambian economy.
GAMTEL, BANJUL, THE GAMBIA—
Allow me to fulfill my last promise of bringing you reasons behind MGI’s success. It is always good to substantiate facts with evidence. Apart from dealing with a network of world class carriers, MGI deployed a state of the art technology, a very sophisticated fraud management systems (fraud buster) that could automatically monitor and control at least 90% of all potential fraud.
MGI is the only gatekeeper that built an INMC (international network management center) here in The Gambia. According to sources. This is also up and running and could accommodate the monitoring of even Gamtel Gamcel networks. It was mentioned in the first report that MGI performed better and the information to substantiate that would be provided. Here is an established fact that could be found in the information gathered by the President Barrow established task force, but would not make mention of it to the authorities or the general public. The same facts are on the desks of both the minister for information and communication infrastructure and the minister for finance and economic affairs, maybe for PURA we are not sure, but off course with Gamtel management and yet the ordinary person is given a wrong impression.
Find attached information established by Gamtel finance as inflow from past gate keepers.
Note, sources linked to the office of the president as reported by the task force and the ministry of finance and economic affairs, shows that from June 2014 to April 2017 (35 months) MGI paid 46.3 million to the special projets bank account designated at the central bank of The Gambia. In the months of March and April 2017,MGI paid $3,165,963 (averaging $1.58 million US monthly. We know WhatsApp, vibre, IMO , Skype, messenger and many more social media platforms are more prominent now than the time of past gare keepers. We can therefore use the worst case scenario for MGI as scoring $1,322,857.14 as an average monthly payments to the account.
By the above tables, we can easily establish the average monthly payments by each gate keeper. Hence: Pre Global voice : $423,853.08 Global voice. : $1,047,329.64 Oratus incorp : $875,039.78 System-One. : $591,564.32 Tell-Inc. : $609,050.38 MGI : $1,322,857.14 Gamtel co. Ltd. :$416,666.
The figures for Gamtel were for the first six months. As at today, with information we got from Gamtel finance, it has been declining weekly. Proceeds found in the Special gateway accounts is less than $500.UD. president Barrow, the faith of the Gambians lies in your hands. You are free to verify every information on this report. We know fraud is a common menace worldwide. This is why every concerned institution that is ready for growth and development, sets out a special strategy for combating it. “Failure to do anything about it” is a crime, but refusal to do anything about it is a much serious crime. Let us visit the situation once again to allow ordinary Gambians understand better. Since there is no mention of drop in traffic, meaning the same people who were making international calls are still the same people if not more. Majority of traffic that should be passing through the main gate way ( the traditional gateway managed by Gamtel ) is passing through several bypasses. Declining of revenue on the main gateway equates to revenue increase on the bypasses. We all agree that the bypass is illegal and fraudulent. For more than ten months, this situation has been lingering here with us and the minister of MOICI and finance did not address it still now. May I refer you to the average monthly receivables Gamtel was making in the last report with freedom. In case you did not see it before, it was $416.66 US average monthly. This was during the first six months of their operation. As a saying goes, “a new broom sweeps well “. Don’t dare find out how much is being made now. What the insider still could not do is to lay hands on PURA’s letter sent to AFRICEL in particular, where they expressed concerns on their gateway bypass at the time. This would be made available in due course. However, losses made on the gateway as a result was too much. How much monies has africel made? A fine of D5,000,000 PURA levied on africel should give you an idea. This is why AFRICEL and her close associates would do every thing humanly possible to stop any one who would deny them this opportunity.
This is one of some evidences that AFRICEL was operating a bypass. AFRICEL bypass It is also good to note that the resistance is not from only AFRICEL and the close associates, but also those unregistered fraudulent and illegal service providers deploying sim boxes all over the country. We have come by information that a company like AFRICEL immediately developed a bypass to the only eligible voice gateway immediately the former regime left office. This had cost the new government so much losses on the main gateway proceeds and at some pointing time, PURA had to intervene. This was possible because MGI was closely monitoring the traffic and could see all the problems.
My humble readers, be rest assured that there are other players in the fraud saga other than africel. At the time, sources have revealed that MGI deployed a sophisticated fraud busters in place that has paid dividend. These were deployed at every GSM service provider’s equipment rooms to automatically block any sim number that attempted to terminate an internationally bypassed call within 5 seconds. In a similar manner, why didn’t Gamtel and the current partner do the same campaign against fraud when they took over. Was it a deliberate ignorance, or a calculated refusal or they simply could not. Can the task force explain why they ignored all these situations in their report. Instead, they conveniently settled for a flattering recommendation to the highest office on something that has now resulted to the Government and the tax payers a lot of financial losses.
For your information, the recommendations that lead to the termination of Mgi’s contract was to allow the task force to establish their own gateway manager. From an insider close to the task force, Gamtel was used as a scapegoat, but the gateway management contract was signed with a company called liquid telecom as a partner in managing the gateway. In this case, liquid also has shares in the overall revenue. On contrary, the general public is made to understand that Gamtel is doing it all on her own. Gamtel further signed separate contracts on exchange of traffic with other carriers such as: TATA, PCCW, Belgacom, Wanatel, ricochet, CGNS(BT), liquid, Orange and Sonatel to majority of whom the are net payers. When we come back, you will get clear information on the current performance of the gateway management. Don’t be surprised if Gamtel perform’s less than 50% of their first six months.
It is very clear to all that no sooner that MGI assumes responsibility over the gateway management again, the first thing they would do is to reconnect all those fraud busters back, and make a stop to all the fraudulent activities out there. This is why some people would say and I quote “over my dead body” that MGI comes back. Note, every time MGI is mentioned, there is a press release on either gateway liberalisation or other alternatives with PURA etc by Minister JAWO. For God’s sake, It has now been two to three years since this proposal of PURA was mentioned and yet still nothing. Was it PURA we were waiting for, for the past ten months. Let us note that this Gambian gateway is an established natural resource that every country has. It is not a United Nations charter to liberalise. Countries always do it the way it suits them. Please get world bank conditions out of this. It is a mare excuse. What ever we do with it to help develop our nation is our business.
From informal discussions with a few members of Gamtel management, it is established that liberalisation is not a condition put forward by the world bank, at least for now. The reasons being the needed time to allow Gamtel being the incumbent to prepare it self. This was more so the reason why the world bank supported Gamtel to conduct a tour to benchmark a few countries within our African region and they further helped to sponsor a consultancy on the right sizing of Gamtel/Gamcel. This information are all sitting in the offices of the Secretary General, the ministries of both Information and communication infrastructure and Finance and economic affairs. Gamtel management is not totally opposed to liberalisation. They are asking for time to re position and put in place strategies that would accord them a position in a level playing field. Thanks to the current nation wide fibre network deployment. GAMTEL needs at least 3 years to prepare for full gateway liberalisation. Generally liberalisation started since in the 1980’s with the sale of telephone sets, opening of telecenters and even the privatisation of service delivery, where ISPs and GSM operators started acquiring licenses. Liberalisation does not come in one Big Bang move. It is planned and managed over time. If you fail in the timing of it, you run into serious trouble. Honorable Mr minister JAWO, put gambia first and live up to your expectations, or else !
Please note there was an accompanying action point with the executive directives that invited MGI to a negotiation for a potential come back. This was a press release that was some how hijacked and not published. For the sake of the general public, find attached a copy the insider was able to lay hands on: Press release
This is for all of you customers to reflect on your experience of the quality of service in 2016 and from January 2017 to date. The quality is going worst by the day. This is because there are too many fraudulent activities happening, be it at corporate or individual levels, registered or non registered service provider. There are numerous strategies and ways of telecommunication fraud. Modern technology has advanced to a stage where experience becomes the way forward. However, efforts to overcome fraud is never 100% successful, but not doing anything about it is a serious crime. Let’s give the devil it’s due.
Written By An Insider