Algerian telecoms watchdog the Regulatory Authority for Post and Telecommunications (Autorite de Regulation de la Poste et des Telecoms, ARPT) has revealed that the three domestic cellcos – Algerie Telecom Mobile (Mobilis), Optimum Telecom Algerie (OTA, Djezzy) and Ooredoo Algeria (Nedjma) – have been awarded 4G concessions. Following the evaluation of the technical offers submitted by the mobile operators, the regulator classified the three bids as follows: Mobilis was ranked first, followed by Ooredoo, while OTA came in third. The ARPT will now award three provisional LTE licences to the successful bidders.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in early January the regulator invited all interested parties to submit their bids for participation in the 4G licence auction, with an initial deadline of 3 April 2016 (subsequently pushed back to 11 April). In the event, the ARPT accepted the three bids submitted by Mobilis, OTA and Ooredoo by stating that the applications were ‘admissible’. According to ICT minister Imane Houda Feraoun, the launch of commercial 4G services is expected to take place in the last quarter of 2016. Under the licence terms and conditions, the cellcos ‘must provide a minimum coverage of 10% in the provinces of their choice in the first four years, and expand to the southern regions of the country within three years’.