Algeria – Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband
6, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Algeria passes legislation enabling local loop unbundling
Algeria’s fixed-line penetration began to grow in 2016 after several years of decline, with fixed-line household penetration being three percentage points higher than at the end of 2014.
This trend is likely to continue to the end of the decade as infrastructure is extended to hitherto underserved areas as part of the Universal Service Telecommunications (UTS) program. Three Universal Service Telecommunications licences were awarded in early 2016, with licensees obliged to provide fixed and wireless telecoms services to all communities.
The country’s relatively well developed infrastructure includes a national fibre backbone which was augmented with a new subsea link to Valencia in April 2017. Algeria is also part of the 4,500km terrestrial Trans-Saharan Backbone network which will connect the national network with other fibre networks in the region.
Mobile penetration is relatively low by regional standards. The regulator was slow to issue 3G licences, while LTE licensees did not launch services until September 2016. Coverage obligations, together with investments made in the intervening months, suggest that LTE will be extended rapidly in coming years, and will go far to deliver mobile broadband to rural areas as per the UTS program.
There is intensifying price competition between the three MNOs – Algerie Telecom’s Mobilis, Orascom’s Djezzy, and Wataniya’s Ooredoo Algeria. Together with increases in tax on voice and data services, this competition has had a negative effect on operator revenue.
Development of Algeria’s fixed-line broadband market has long been hampered by the limited reach of the fixed-line network and the capability of the infrastructure to provide broadband services. This created an environment which encouraged alternative operators to invest in fixed-wireless accesses. The provision of LTE by all three MNOs has done much to ensure the availability of mobile internet access across the country.
The government has also enabled players by the February 2017 Code of Posts and Electronic Communications to access Algerie Telecom’s infrastructure through local loop unbundling, thus ending the incumbent’s effective monopoly on DSL-based services.
Improved international connectivity has substantially reduced the cost of broadband services in recent years. Algerie Telecom continues to invest to expand its national fibre infrastructure, while the government has committed funds towards its national broadband program despite declining revenue from the falling price of oil which has put pressure on its overall investments.
This report contains an overview of Algeria’s telecom market, providing key statistics, profiles of the major players and as assessment of infrastructure developments.
It also covers the fixed-line broadband sector as well as the mobile market, including analyses on operator strategies and recent spectrum licensing.
- Finance Law increases tax on voice and data services;
- Algerie Telecom contracts Huawei to build a national fibre network benefiting one million customers;
- Algeria signs agreement with Niger to share expertise in postal and ICT services;
- African Development Bank (ADB) finances the Trans-Saharan fiber-optic backbone project (SDR);
- New Code of Posts and Electronic Communications legislation providing for local loop unbundling;
- Regulator awards three Universal Telecommunications Service licences to provide basic telecom services in underserved areas;
- Orval cable system linking Oran with Valencia completed;
- Government drafts law to promote e-commerce;
- Report update includes the regulator’s market data update for 2016, telcos’ financial and operating data to Q3 2017, recent market data developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Algerie Telecom (Mobilis), Lacom, Optimum Telecom Algerie (Djezzy), Wataniya Telecom (Nedjema, Ooredoo), Djaweb, EEPAD, Swan Informatique, IcosNet, Smart link Communication