Algerie Telecom in spat with its own Mobilis unit over fibre rollout

20 Jan 2015

Agence Ecofin reports that a feud is brewing between incumbent operator Algerie Telecom and its own mobile subsidiary Mobilis, over the latter’s desire to ‘stand on its own feet’ through the acquisition of its own fibre-optic network infrastructure that will enable it to go head-to-head with competitors Ooredoo and Djezzy in the provision of integrated telecoms services. Since November 2014, the pair have reportedly locked horns over Mobilis’ plans which stemmed from the wireless operator’s launch of a tender for the ‘supply, installation and commissioning of advanced, high speed transmissions next generation dense wavelength division multiplexing (NG-DWDM) equipment, including the supply of fibre-optic cable and passive equipment’.

Mobilis’ quest for independence has not, however, curried favour with its parent, which currently provides it with fibre capacity on its own infrastructure and stands to lose up to USD8 million in revenue per day if Mobilis goes ahead with its plan. Indeed, Algerie Telecom chairman and CEO Azouaou Mehmel has warned that the loss of such an important revenue stream could result in it being forced to shed ‘several thousands’ of its workforce. The government of Algeria has reportedly called a number of meetings in a bid to resolve the silent impasse, although it appears likely that market forces will prevail, given that both companies are simply looking to protect the interests of the firms they run.