Three Algerian telcos qualify as universal service providers

26 Jan 2016

Algeria’s telecoms watchdog the Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms, ARPT) has revealed the results of a tender for authorising operators for the provision of universal telecoms services in the country. Out of the four companies that submitted bids for the concessions – Algerie Telecom (AT), Algeria Telecom Mobile (Mobilis), Ooredoo Algeria (Nedjma), and Optimum Telecom Algerie (OTA, Djezzy) – the regulator has approved three (AT, Mobilis and OTA), while Ooredoo’s bid was deemed too expensive. The authorisations will allow the successful bidders to provide basic telecoms services (wireless or fixed) and internet access at affordable prices to underserved areas. Under the first stage of the Universal Telecommunications Service (UTS) programme, a total of 97 communities in 28 wilayas (regions) in Southern Algeria (towns with population of between 500 and 2,000 people) and Northern Algeria (with population of between 1,000 and 2,000) will gain access to telecoms services.