Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has praised the countryís first 3G cellular operator QCell, run by local entrepreneur Muhammed Jah, for expanding mobile usersí choice in the country as well as introducing cheap service rates. The president was speaking on Saturday at the official inauguration of QCellís headquarters, marking a year since the GSM/W-CDMA operatorís network launch in July 2009. Also speaking at the ceremony, Gambiaís Minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure Alhagie Cham commended QCell for taking on a significant risk in entering an already competitive market; he noted that in one year of operations the cellco had signed up a subscriber base of around 100,000, as well as expanding its network coverage across the country and employing a staff of 300 Gambians, up from around 100 at launch.
QCell has carried out a number of firsts in the country, including introducing video calling services and wireless datacard services for 3G/EDGE mobile internet access, available to pre- and post-paid users. Its website claims that its voice tariffs for both on-net and off-net calls are Gambiaís cheapest. Qcell, which competes against Africell, Gamcel and Comium, also sells its own branded 3G handsets.