Four of Algeria’s public sector companies – Algerie Telecom, Sonatrach, Sonelgaz and National Rail Transport Company (SNTF) – have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the management of the country’s fibre-optic network, Nam News Network reports. The document outlines the establishment of a joint venture – the Company of Telecommunications Infrastructure Algeria (CITA) – with a capital of DZD500 million (USD6.33 million), and shareholding distribution as following: Algerian incumbent telco Algerie Telecom will have 55% of the shares; national oil company Sonatrach and electricity and gas distribution company Sonelgaz will have 20% of the stake each, while SNTF will account for the remaining shares. According to a press release posted on Algerie Telecom’s website, CITA’s main responsibilities will include the implementation of the strategy for sharing and interconnection of alternative transportation systems, in addition to the management of surplus capacity and excess resources of alternative fibre networks.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, Algeria’s Minister of Post and ICT Moussa Benhamadi proposed the establishment of a joint venture for the management of the country’s fibre-optic networks in November 2012. Said business will seek to encourage the promotion of broadband services within the north African nation by encouraging infrastructure-based tie-ups with other sectors, such as transport. The scheme will complement previously revealed government plans to implement its Plan National de la Fibre Optique (PNFO). Speaking at the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Telecom World conference in Dubai in December 2012, Benhamadi commented: ‘The first step is to commit to making better use of all fibres held by the companies, including the energy sector (15,000km), railways (nearly 5,000km), telecom (50,000km), and other companies and government agencies in the country’.