Algeria’s Minister of Post, Telecommunications, Technology and Digital, Houda Imane Faraoun, has stated in an interview that the country will be connected to two new submarine cables ‘before the end of the year’, Agence Ecofin reported. The delayed Oran-Valencia (Orval) cable linking Algeria to Spain is backed by Algerie Telecom (AT), partnering IslaLink, and after missing a previously mooted launch date of June 2017 the telecoms minister insists a live switch-on is now imminent. Furthermore, in December 2017 the upcoming prospect of a new cable route linking ‘Annaba to the US’ was revealed, and the minister this month confirmed that the ambitious plan remained on the government’s agenda, although details remain scant.
State-owned AT currently relies heavily on its link to the consortium SeaMeWe-4 submarine cable (linking Annaba to Marseille in France), whilst Algerian cellco Djezzy’s managing shareholder Global Telecom Holding owns the Med Cable submarine system (connecting Algiers to Marseille). AT also part-owns the aged ALPAL-2 undersea cable.