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Excitement abounds in Algeria with 3G coming
Published in Bikya Masr on 10 - 01 - 2012

ALGIERS: The café is bustling with the younger generation. They are all on their computers, typing away. Anwar Yussif is a 20-year-old blogger and university student. He says he can't wait until the country's first 3G network is officially launched later this year.
“It will be amazing to be able to get online and keep people updated on what is going on here and there,” he told Bikyamasr.com. “We saw how important these networks can be in delivering information to people fast and this could be a great way to keep our readers and friends updated on what we are doing.”
But, he said the goal should not be to create revolution. “I don't think Algeria is ready yet for something like that, but we do want is to be able to give information freely and with speed. I mean, I would love to post things to my blog without having to find my computer and get online somewhere,” he said.
In late December, the Algerian government announced 3G services would begin sometime in the first half of 2012, but backed away from saying it would be available by March as previously stated.
ICT minister Moussa Benhamadi said that his office wants 3G mobile communications services to become available to citizens at the end of the first half at the latest, and is working to that end.
He added that Telecom Algerie's Mobilis service was improving qualitatively in terms of revenue and services.
The mobile operator also wor¬king on upgrading and strengthening its 2G network, but was mainly focused on preparing for 3G. Algerian telecom regulator launched a tender in September to license the country's first 3G operator.
The role of 3G could dramatically change the telecommunications sector, analysts say. It will mean more opportunities for mobile phone companies and new technology to make an impact. According to Said Ibrahim, the movement toward 3G will increase competition and push companies to deliver better customer service in the country.
“For the past few years, we have all been waiting for 3G and finally now that it is coming we should see a dramatic push toward new technologies and business in the sector,” Ibrahim told Bikyamasr.com.
He argued that the slow pace that has grasped the 3G introduction was directly responding to the overwhelming belief that mobile phones and social-networking was a catalyst in bringing down authoritative regimes. Now, however, Algiers believes it can have both without becoming victim to an uprising.
“The government, and probably rightly so, understands that in order to create the kind of numbers on social networks, it takes more than 3G to make that happen. Right now, Algerians are not committed to one specific demand in terms of politics and people want a better way of life. Giving them 3G is just that,” he added.
For the younger generation such as Yussif, the whole concept of 3G has been something he and his friends have been looking forward to since it was announced last year. He hopes that it will be an easy way to get together and, ironically, answer those arguments.
“We all get into arguments when we are with friends and now we will be able to just get online and find the answer. I can't wait to prove my friends wrong,” he argued.
BM
ShortURL: http://goo.gl/olzIS
Tags: 3G, Internet, Telecom
Section: Algeria, Features, Latest News, Tech


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