Ooredoo launched what it said is the first commercial 3G network in Algeria, offering services “within hours of receiving final regulatory approval”.
The company said its network covers ten major cities – Algiers, Constantine, Oran, Ouargla, Setif, Djelfa and “exclusively in Bejaia, Chlef, Bouira and Ghardaia”.
3G services will be available to customers with suitable devices “at no additional cost”. The company said it is “ensuring that 3G is widely available to as many people as possible, supporting its vision of broadband access for all in Algeria”.
It is also offering a range of weekly, monthly and special mobile internet packages, including a new unlimited data offer.
According to GSMA Intelligence figures, Ooredoo is the smallest operator in Algeria (market share around 24 per cent), behind Djezzy (44 per cent) and Mobilis (32 per cent).
The market is dominated by prepaid customers.
The launch was not welcomed by Mobilis which, while not going as far as naming Ooredoo, criticised a “market operator” for violating regulations governing the marketing of 3G in the country.
It said that by selling 3G services online, the competitor does not meet a requirement that services should also be made available through agencies and authorised retailers, and that using 2G numbers to provide 3G services is also against the current guidelines.