Algerian state-owned telecoms firm Algerie Telecom will spend $6 billion to upgrade its fixed-line and mobile operations over the next five years, the firm's deputy chief executive told Reuters on Tuesday.
From 2009 to 2014, we will invest $6 billion to upgrade both fixed and mobile operations, Cherif Yaici said on the sidelines of a telecoms conference in Cairo.
We will invest the money in overhauling our technology and buying new equipment for our entire networks, he added.
The spending is part of a wider $150 billion government plan to upgrade Algeria's infrastructure, Yaici said.
Algerie Telecom seeks growth of 5 percent in its fixed-line subscriber base and 20 percent growth in mobile subscribers in 2010.
The fixed-line operation -- a monopoly in the North African country of some 35 million people -- has 3 million lines while the mobile unit, called Mobilis, has 9 million customers, Yaici said.
Algeria's telecoms firm is competing in the mobile business against affiliates of Egypt's Orascom Telecom (OT) and National Mobile Telecommunications Co Watania, a unit of Qatar Telecommucations Co QATA.QA.
Fixed-line faces tough competition from mobile operators in Algeria, as is the case in the rest of the world, Yaici said.
Algerie Telecom, the country's second-largest mobile firm and internet provider, has been slated for privatisation but the process has been repeatedly delayed.
(Reporting by Sherine El Madany; editing by Mariam Karouny and Simon Jessop)