Under the terms of the notice, only companies with more than three years of experience in fixed-line telephony, 100,000 subscribers and a market capitalisation of Eur 25 million ($31 million) are eligible to bid. UK-based Analysys is the strategic adviser to ARPT, while Canada’s McCarthy Tetraultis the legal adviser.

The fixed-line licences will mark a new chapter in the liberalisation of the local telecoms sector. While the GSM sector has been opened to competition – Algeria’s third GSM licence was recently awarded to Kuwait’s National Mobiles Telecommunications Company (Wataniya)– the fixed-line network is monopolised by state-owned Algerie Telecom (MEED 5:12:03).