Algeria’s three mobile network operators Algerie Telecom Mobile (Mobilis), Djezzy and Ooredoo will be issued additional frequencies to combat the problem of substandard internet access following widespread network disruptions experienced over the last week, it was decided at a meeting between the telecoms minister Brahim Boumzar and senior telecoms company executives on 25 August 2020, Agence Ecofin reported. Minister Boumzar said that the release of new telecoms spectrum would be implemented in coordination with the Authority for Regulation of Post & Electronic Communications (ARPCE), although details on the type(s) of frequencies under consideration were not immediately reported.
The meeting followed an order from President Abdelmadjid Tebboune on 23 August demanding a ‘definitive solution to the problem of low internet speed’, after Algerians experienced degraded internet connectivity from 19 August onwards, although indications were that the immediate problems were caused by international connectivity issues rather than a lack of spectrum. Public complaints on social media had accumulated particularly on the pages of state-backed Algerie Telecom, which manages fibre-optic submarine/terrestrial cross-border cable links. In a statement on 20 August Algerie Telecom said: ‘This disruption has nothing to do with Algeria’s national telecommunications network or its basic facilities; it is rather a fluctuation of the international network.’