Algeria Telecom-PCCW Global sign cable agreement to meet the country’s growing bandwidth demand

1 December 2017

Top Story

In a little noticed item of news, One of North Africa’s larger bandwidth markets Algeria signed an international fibre cable MoU with global connectivity provider PCCW.

At the beginning of November 2017 an MoU was signed by State-owned incumbent Algerie Telecom and a subsidiary of Hong Kong-based PCCW Global group to build a new fibre cable to connect Algeria.

The country currently has two international fibre links: ALPAL 2; MED Cable; and Orval (expected to be operational in 2018). The 312km ALPAL-2 cable links Algiers to Palma on the Spanish island of Mallorca. ALPAL-2 is run by a consortium that includes Algeria Telecom, France Telecom, Telefoncia and Telecom Italia.

ALPAL-2 links Algeria to France through Spain using France Telecom's European backbone network, and also from Barcelona to Marseilles via another submarine system called Barmar.

The MED Cable links Algiers, Oran and Annaba to Marseille in France. ORVAL is to link Algeria and Spain and was supposed to be completed by 2016 but is now expected in 2018.

At the signing of the MoU with PCCW, the Minister for Post and Telecommunications said that the agreement relates to "the realization of a new fiber optic link, connecting Algeria to new submarine axes and the establishment, operation and management of data a center".

The latter was a reference to part of a broader aim to develop new applications in ICT services, promote and commercialize data storage services and international connectivity services in Algeria and abroad. It will also help meet Algeria’s growing national demand for bandwidth. In October Algerie Telecom signed a framework agreement with ZTE to build a GPON FTTX network.

The most likely route for the new cable would be Algiers-Marseille, a distance of 754 kms. This would give it a connection into AAE-1 that connects the Middle East and Asia to Europe, including France, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Oman, Yemen, Djibouti, Pakistan, India, Cambodia, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, and Hong Kong.

By connecting major carrier-neutral PoPs in Hong Kong, Singapore and Marseilles, AAE-1 members can choose their preferred backhaul providers available in these PoPs or in AAE-1 Cable Landing Stations in Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe.

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