A country in the northern Africa, Algeria has one of the best developing next generation networks among its African counterparts. Fixed telecom market is not opened to foreign investment and is still dominated by state owned Algerie Telecom. Mobile sector is opened for limited competition and there are three mobile service providers, two of them being subsidiaries of Middle East based telecom operators.
Currently there are three mobile operators. 1. Djezzy, which is Orascom Telecom Algerie a subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding.2. Nedjma, which is known as Wataniya Telecom Algerie, a subsidiary of Qatar Telecom (Qtel) branded now as Ooredoo. 3. Mobilis owned by Algerie Telecom.
Algeria had invested in fiber optic infrastructure in the past and has been continuing its efforts irrespective of internal political conflicts. As of this writing, fixed telephone density in Algeria stands at 8 per 100 people. Mobile phone connections are popular in Algeria. Mobile density shows the popularity of this type of telecommunication service in Algeria. Broadband penetration rate is not significant in Algeria. Fixed line broadband subscribers are around 3.3 per 100 people.
However, 26 percent of the houses in Algeria possess personal computers out which around 24 percent is connected to internet. Internet broadband services started in 2003in Algeria. Internet access is not considered as necessity in the country. Though 16.6 percent of Algerian population uses internet, business customers are major driving force for broadband in the country.
• Algérie Telecom
• Djezzy (Orascom Telecom Algerie) (OTA) subsidiary of Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH)
• Nedjma (Wataniya Télécom Algérie), a subsidiary of Qatar Telecom (Qtel)
• Mobilis (Algérie Telecom)
Though the privatization of telecom sector in Algeria’s began in 2000 there are only three mobile cellular licenses issued until now. Mobile cellular operators build backbone infrastructure to support bandwidth. Such backbone networks are built with fiber optic cables. Apart from this, OPGW cables are also used along with power transmission lines in Algeria.
The fifteen year old license owned by Orascom Telecom will end in 2020. Orascom is Egypt based telecom operator. The consortium led by Orascom won this license in 2005. This contract allowed Orascom to build and operate a fixed line network in Algeria apart from allowing the operator to develop high speed data and other specialized services. Telecom regulatory authorities in Algeria estimates that this license will contribute to meeting the large unfulfilled demand for basic residential telephony.
Algeria has landing point for the SEA-ME-WE-4 submarine fiber optic cable system. This submarine fiber optic cable links Europe with Asia while connecting many African and Middle East Asian countries on its route.
Algeria is home to the fiber optic cable manufacturer CATEL. CATEL produces varieties of loose tube type optical fiber cables. The manufacturers were successful to supply cables to the domestic project. Many other foreign suppliers also participate in tenders to supply fiber optic products to the telecom projects in Algeria. Chinese, Indian and Korean contractors are actively involved in telecom infrastructure projects.