Algeria ‘plans subsea fibre link direct to US’, says minister

15 December 2017 | Alan Burkitt-Gray


The North African country of Algeria is planning its own subsea cable to connect with the US.

Houda Imane FaraounThe minister of post, telecommunications, technology and digital, Houda Imane Faraoun, told Algerian newspaper Dernières Infos d’Algérie that the deal “will be signed before the end of 2017”.

She said the cable will terminate at the Algerian city of Annaba, alongside Sea-Me-We 4, which links to Algeria to Marseille.

This project is in addition to the Orval subsea cable which is planned to connect Oran in Algeria to Valencia in Spain. Work on that will also start before the end of the year, said Faraoun, noting that work has progressed since Algérie Télécom set up a subsidiary in Spain “to iron out all the administrative obstacles that delayed the realisation of this project”.

Faraoun, speaking to the National People’s Congress, did not say which companies would make and lay the new Annaba-US cable, but Dernières Infos d’Algérie said the project had “operating rights of $34 million”.

Meanwhile, Algeria’s first telecoms satellite, the Chinese-built Alcomsat-1, is due to reach its final orbital position today after launch from the Xichang base on a Long March 3BE rocket this month.

The satellite will provide services at 20Mbps over the country, backing up Algérie Télécom’s fibre services. It will also serve customers in Morocco, Mauritania, Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Libya, Egypt, northern Chad and Sudan. According to the Ecofin news agency Mali has already announced plans to use Alcomsat-1 connectivity.

The Algerian Space Agency will control the satellite from two ground stations, in Medea and Ouargla.