The Algerian Communications Ministry has again raised the issue of the privatisation of Algerie Telecom, the country’s incumbent telco, claiming the process that has been repeatedly delayed will definitely be completed by June this year. Abu-Dhabi based Emirates Telecommunications (Etisalat) and Kuwait’s Zain Group (formerly MTC Group), France Telecom, Portugal Telecom, Telefonica, Deutsche Telekom and Qatar Telecom are among 45 foreign firms said to have indicated their interest in the sale. Etisalat was reportedly prepared to offer up to USD3 billion for a 51% stake last year, but the communications minister Boudjema Haichour has stated since that: ‘the majority of Algerie Telecom’s capital will remain in state hands’.
According to Telegeography’s GlobalComms database, AT is the country’s principle fixed line and broadband provider with 2.88 million fixed lines in service at the beginning of 2007. It plans to spend up to USD3.8 billion in 2007-09 upgrading and expanding its networks to meet its self-imposed targets of signing up three million ADSL internet users, up to seven million total fixed line and internet customers, as well as nine million subscribers at its mobile arm, Mobilis.