Algeria - Key Statistics, Fixed-Line Telecoms and Regulatory Overviews
With a fixed-line penetration of around 8% and mobile penetration close to 100%, Algeria has one of the highest telecom services teledensities in Africa. Its relatively well developed infrastructure includes a national fibre backbone and one of Africa's first FttP deployments. The country's oil and gas reserves have made it one of the wealthiest nations in Africa.
Competition in the fixed-line sector received a setback in 2008 when the second operator, Lacom (a joint venture between Egypt's Orascom Telecom and Telecom Egypt) exited the market after three years of operations, citing regulatory barriers that made it impossible to compete with Algerie Telecom. Only months later, the already delayed privatisation of Algerie Telecom was called off and the licensing of third generation mobile spectrum delayed further. The number of fixed lines in service fell by 16% the following year but has since then recovered. In late 2014 the government proposed introducing competition in the fixed-line telephony market.
To provide fixed connections, Algerie Telecom has made extensive use of CDMA wireless technology which supports broadband and full mobility. In parallel with the access networks, the national and international fibre optic backbone is being upgraded to an IP-based next-generation network. The government has announced investments of 100 million into national fibre infrastructure to the end of 2014.
Government signs contract to build Orval cable system linking Oran with Valencia; Alcatel-Lucent completes network upgrade for Ooredoo; SNTF and Kapsch CarrierCom set up Rail-Telecom JV to maintain railway telecom networks; government proposes opening up fixed-line telephony market to competition; Bill to revise the Telecom Law fails to pass Parliament; regulator's activity report; Company of Telecommunications Infrastructure Algeria set up to manage a national fibre network; about 16% of Algerie Telecom's fixed-lines are wireless; Algerie Telecom allocates DZD431 million to improve telecom services in Tamanrasset; regulator's market data update for 2013; recent market data developments.
Companies covered in this report include: