Vincenzo Nesci, executive chairman of Algerian mobile operator Optimum Telecom Algerie (OTA, Djezzy), has revealed that his company has been authorised by the government to deploy 3G services in all wilayas (provinces) of the country during the ‘first months’ of 2016, Maghreb Emergent reports. The announcement comes two weeks after rival Algerie Telecom Mobile (Mobilis) extended its 3G footprint to all 48 wilayas in the country.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in December 2013 Djezzy revealed that its 3G network would be launched in four provinces in Q1 2014, due to delays caused by government interference, including a ban on Djezzy transferring currency abroad and restrictions on purchasing 3G equipment. The operator missed the self-imposed deadline, and belatedly introduced its 3.5G services in seven wilayas in July 2014, seven months behind rivals Mobilis and Ooredoo. Although Djezzy’s 3G footprint has since been extended to 30 wilayas, its current coverage trails behind Mobilis (48 wilayas) and Ooredoo (36 wilayas).