Azouaou Mehmel, president and CEO of state-owned Algerie Telecom, has given a brief update on the first phase of deployment of the telco’s fixed-wireless 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) broadband service which was launched commercially in May last year, Agence Ecofin reports. Mehmel stated: ‘The results are very satisfactory: we deployed a solution for 100,000 customers and [the active user base] is already over 86,000 [up from 80,000 reported earlier this month]. There is a demand, but we do not want to overload the network so that there is no problem [with] quality later … We do not rely solely on LTE. For us it is a complementary internet access technology [to] wired technologies – optical fibre, DSL.’ The CEO continued that in the first half of 2015 the second phase of fixed wireless LTE network deployment will begin, to ‘densify the LTE access in areas where the network and demand exists,’ adding that ‘we will [also] cover areas not [reached by broadband services] so far’. Earlier in January, CommsUpdate reported that the operator had at least two 4G-enabled base transceiver stations (BTS) in each of the country’s 48 wilayas (provinces), and a total of 250 LTE BTS, with plans to expand to ‘remote areas’ this year, while the company previously revealed plans to install 2,000 LTE-enabled BTS by end-2015.
Zohra Derdouri, Algeria’s Minister of Posts and ICT, speaking at the same event alongside Azouaou Mehmel, declared that mobile 4G LTE services will be launched in the country before the end of 2015, but that ‘we will go more slowly compared to 3G. We will offer this service to those who need it as the populations of large cities and businesses.’ Algerie Telecom’s cellular division Mobilis is a 100%-owned subsidiary of the state-run telco.