Algerian mobile operator Ooredoo Algeria (formerly Nedjma) anticipates that around two million subscribers will migrate to its 3G network once the technology has been commercially launched in the country. Agence Ecofin quotes Ooredoo Algeria’s CEO Joseph Ged as saying that the company has been preparing for the 3G upgrade since 2011, and has invested more than USD1 billion on equipment for the modernisation of its system. Further, the executive revealed that the upgrade project has accelerated in recent months, adding that ‘the service disruptions that have occurred on the network and that many consumers have complained about’ are due to the ongoing network overhaul.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Algerian telecoms watchdog the Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms (ARPT) issued the final licences for the provision of 3G services in the country to all three applicants—Mobilis, Ooredoo Algeria (Nedjma) and Djezzy – on 3 December 2013. Not long after, ARPT published the 3G network coverage obligations for all three licensees, with Ooredoo granted exclusivity in the town of Bejaia Ghardaia; by end-December 2014 the operator must also provide 3G coverage in the towns of Algiers, Constantine, Ouargla, Setif, Chlef, Blida, Tlemcen, Boumerdes, Tipaza, Biskra, El Oued Sidi Bel Abbes, Medea, Ain Defla and Djelfa.