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CAT consortium gets cream of Algerian fixed-line

Algeria' s rising demand for telephony has created a new opportunity for the country's major mobile operator. Orascom Telecom has teamed up with its fellow Egyptian company Telecom Egypt to set up Consortium Algerien de Telecommunication and run Algeria' s second fixed-line system.

Algeria' s rising demand for telephony has created a new opportunity for the country's major mobile operator. Orascom Telecom has teamed up with its fellow Egyptian company Telecom Egypt to set up Consortium Algerien de Telecommunication and run Algeria' s second fixed-line system.

It is generally accepted that Algerie Telecom, the state-owned existing find-line operator, did not have the capacity to meet soaring demand in a country of 33 million people. Its current subscriber base is 3.2 million. 

The two Egyptian companies will each hold a 50% stake in CAT, having paid US$65 million for the 15-year licence. Their network has been up and running in Algiers and ready for customers as of 23 February.

 Algerie Telecom has been sufficiently goaded by the situation to invest US$2.5 billion in the next few years to build up high-speed Internet. The country as a whole has 13 million mobile users and is benefiting from investment after a period of political difficulty.

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