Algeria Telecom could launch TV/ADSL in Q2,2011

Technology & Convergence

On March 2, 2011, Television through ADSL (originally developed with Netgem) will soon be launched in Algeria. This was stated by M'Hamed Dabouz, CEO of Algeria Telecom group.

"Among our objectives, the development of television through ADSL (Safir Box) is set for the second half of this year," he said at Mujahid Forum. The new head of the incumbent telecoms’ operator has also indicated that "in terms of HD and 3D, it will not come in decades, but in a few years." Moreover, Dabouz has estimated that the growth rate of ADSL was "satisfactory". Lower rates of the Internet (50%) made in April 2008, has had a deep impact on the company.

The Internet, which, he noted is ”the fifth vital need”, has increased in number of subscribers during 2010. "In 2010, the number of subscribers was estimated at around 830 000" he said. On this last point, "in addition to some optical fiber subscribers, the rate of Internet Income is up 50% year on year," he advised, adding that 10.000 access via EVDO and WIMAX (for pros only), 300 subscribers via FTX. Regarding WiFi, he stressed that the number of users is "more than 5 million." He also indicated a "strong demand for the Internet," stated that "a reorganization plan has been implemented in emergency".

Six million broadband accesses are to be achieved in the context of the e-Algeria 2013 programme. In terms of connections, Mr. M'hamed Dabouz noted nearly 3.1 million subscribers to the fixed network. Altogether, 15 million people have a permanent access to Telecom Algeria’s network. In 2010, 5,000 km of optical fiber have been laid in 2010 and the country counts 15.000 cyber-café. Mr. M'hamed Dabouz noted that 10 ISPs run on the AT network.

With regard to standard telephony, Dabouz indicated that the number of subscribers to Mobile is "10 million". However, he acknowledged that "the decline in revenues from fixed telephony due to Mobile (incl. via its mobile subsidiary ATM) damaged Telecom Algeria. In terms of human resources, he said that 26,500 people are directly employed within the Group, in addition to indirect jobs (subcontracting). However, it is worth noting that television by ADSL - which can bring many pay TV channels’ bouquets on a television set - does not require the Internet or even a computer for access.

On the optical fiber, AT offers a bouquet of 60 channels for TV and there is the project to move to digital terrestrial TV (DTT), which will lead to the disappearance of the satellite aerials, he concluded.