Algeria's state-owned Algerie Telecom has outlined plans to spend US$6 billion over the next few years upgrading both its landline and mobile networks. Plans to privatise the company were put on hold last year pending the upgrades.
"From 2009 to 2014, we will invest $6 billion to upgrade both fixed and mobile operations," firm's deputy chief executive, Cherif Yaici told Reuters on the sidelines of a telecoms conference in Cairo. "We will invest the money in overhauling our technology and buying new equipment for our entire networks," he added.
Algerie Telecom seeks growth of 5 percent in its fixed-line subscriber base and 20 percent growth in mobile subscribers in 2010.
Algeria's fixed and cellular revenues are projected to exceed US$4.7 billion in 2011, growing from around US$4.1 billion in 2007 reported the Arab Advisors Group late last year - although they said that was conditional in part on the privatisation of Algerie Telecom.
Algerie Telecom remained the monopoly fixed operator till 2005. The monopoly status ended in May 2005, when the ARPT awarded the Consortium Algerien des Telecommunication (CAT) a 15-year renewable license to provide fixed, international and rural services. However, Orascom Telecom and Telecom Egypt liquidated their landline joint venture in Algeria last year, citing competitive problems with the incumbent operator.
According to figures from the Mobile World database, the country has three mobile network operators with the following market shares, Djezzy (51.5%), Moblis (28%) and Nedjma with 20.5%. The country itself ended the first half of this year with just under 28.3 million subscribers, representing a population penetration level of 84%.