This annual report provides a comprehensive overview and analysis of trends and developments in Algeria’s telecommunications market, including forecasts. Subjects covered include:
- Key statistics;
- Market and industry overviews;
- The impact of the global economic crisis;
- Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
- Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
- Telecoms operators – privatisation, acquisitions, new licences;
- Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
- Infrastructure development;
- Mobile voice and data markets;
- Internet and broadband development and growth;
- Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile);
- Average Revenue per User (ARPU).
Companies covered in this report:
- Algerie Telecom;
- Orascom Telecom Algerie (OTA, Djezzy);
- Wananiya Telecom (Nedjma);
- Lacom (Orascom Telecom, Telecom Egypt);
- Energy Telecoms Company (AETC);
- Swan Informatique;
- Smart Link Communication (SLC);
- Webphone Network;
- Last Net;
- Anwar Net;
- Matelsat Oranaise;
- SARL Fast Mark Network;
Researcher:- Peter Lange
Current publication date:- April 2012 (11th Edition)
3G mobile licences expected in 2012
Algeria has one of the highest teledensities in Africa. Its relatively well developed infrastructure includes a national fibre backbone and one of Africa’s first FttH deployments. The country’s oil and gas reserves have made it one of the wealthiest nations in Africa. The market has been affected by the global economic crisis, and its recovery will in part depend on how the wave of social and political unrest currently sweeping the region will pan out. A shadow has also been cast on investor confidence by recent moves of the government to take control of the country’s leading mobile operator.
At close to 100% penetration, subscriber growth in the mobile market has slowed considerably, and the attention is shifting to maintaining or improving the average revenue per user (ARPU) which has continued to decline under intensifying price competition between the three networks: Algerie Telecom’s Mobilis, Orascom’s Djezzy, and Wataniya’s Nedjma. The operators have entered the underdeveloped Internet market by launching basic mobile data services, but the licensing of third generation (3G) spectrum has been delayed, which has made it difficult for them to fully compete in the broadband sector. However, 3G licences are now expected to be issued in 2012.
In the meantime, fixed-line incumbent Algerie Telecom (AT), itself a mobile operator, has expanded its ADSL and WiMAX networks and upgraded its CDMA WLL system with broadband capabilities. ADSL prices are already among the lowest in Africa. Several of the country’s ISPs are rolling out their own WiMAX wireless broadband infrastructure. The full liberalisation of VoIP Internet telephony is enabling them to become players in the voice market as well. On the other hand, almost half of the country’s ISPs lost their licences in 2011 due to unpaid licence fees.
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 (AT). Only months later, the already delayed privatisation of AT was called off. The number of fixed lines in service fell by 16% the following year but has since then recovered.
To provide fixed connections, AT 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 (NGN). The government has announced investments of €100 million into national fibre infrastructure over the five years to 2014.
This report contains an overview of Algeria’s telecommunications market, analysis and key statistics, profiles of the major players, and scenario forecasts for the mobile and Internet market to 2013 and 2016.
- One of the highest levels of mobile and fixed-line penetration in Africa;
- ARPU has stabilised following intense price competition;
- 3G mobile licences expected in 2012;
- Government is trying to take control of the country’s leading mobile operator;
- Almost half of the country’s ISPs lost their licences in 2011;
- Forecasts for mobile and Internet markets to 2013 and 2016;
- Profiles of major players in all market sectors;
- Major investments in national fibre infrastructure.
Estimated market penetration rates in Algeria’s telecoms sector – end 2012
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)