Qatar’s Ooredoo Group has announced what it claims to be the launch of the first commercial 3G network in Algeria by its local subsidiary. In confirming the development, the company said that the opening of the infrastructure to the public came within just hours of receiving the regulatory green light to do so. At launch Ooredoo Algeria’s (formerly Nedjma) third-generation network covers ten major cities across the country, namely: Algiers, Constantine, Oran, Ouargla, Setif, Djelfa and exclusively in Bejaia, Chlef, Bouira and Ghardaia. Customers looking to take advantage of the higher speeds available over the 3G network will not face any additional charges compared to connecting to the 2G infrastructure, though they are required to contact the cellco to request a second 3G number and adding it to their existing SIM card. The decision to enable customers to use their original SIM card to access 3G services at the existing rates for 2G services would, Ooredoo said, ensure that the new network was widely available to as many people as possible, supporting the operator’s vision of broadband access for all in Algeria.
Speaking in the wake of the network launch, Joseph Ged, Ooredoo Algeria CEO, said: ‘We’re proud to say that our 3G network went live within ten days of finalising the licensing process and within twelve hours of receiving final approval from the regulator. Ooredoo has launched the first commercial 3G service in Algeria, delivering a historic moment of technological benefit for the people of our country and contributing to the development of a knowledge-based economy for all.’