Algerian mobile operator Djezzy added 1 million customers this year

Djezzy, Algeria’s No. 2 mobile operator, has seven million smart phones users. (Reuters)
Updated 06 December 2018
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Algerian mobile operator Djezzy added 1 million customers this year

  • Djezzy, or Optimum Telecom Algérie, will have 16 million subscribers by the end of 2018
  • The rate of penetration of smartphones in Algeria is around 40 percent, much lower than in other Arab countries

ALGIERS: Algerian mobile telecoms operator Djezzy has added 1 million customers this year and plans to further invest to offer more online payment services, its CEO said.
Djezzy, or Optimum Telecom Algérie, will have 16 million subscribers by the end of 2018, up from 15 million a year ago and including seven million smart phones users, said Matthieu Galvani.
Djezzy is Algeria’s No. 2 mobile operator, behind state-owned Mobilis, and also competes with Qatar’s Ooredoo.
It is owned by Egypt’s Global Telecom Holding (GTH) , in which Dutch-based Veon, formerly know as VimpelCom, has a 57.7 percent stake.
Galvani declined to give a forecast for next year, saying only the potential was huge as the government was planning to make more online payment services available.
Some government bodies and even banks in Algeria still use the fax to communicate with the world. Online payments are very limited and such services require special central bank approval.
However, authorities plan to expand the network as part of efforts to boost private investment and lower the country’s dependency on oil and gas revenues.
To tap into this nascent market Djezzy will invest more after spending 30 billion dinars ($253 million) in the past two years to become an online business platform, Galvani said, declining to give a figure.
“The potential of (Algeria’s population of around) 40 million people once it goes digital is huge, so we need to be ready, hundreds of thousands of jobs will be created,” he said.
Other shareholders in Djezzy are a state-owned fund called FNI with 51 percent and CEVITAL, a local private company, which owns 3.3 percent.
The rate of penetration of smartphones in Algeria is around 40 percent now, according to official figures, much lower than in other Arab countries.
The rate for mobile phones is 111 percent.
Algeria has the slowest fixed Internet speed connection in the world at 3.5 megabits per second (mbps), compared to world leader Singapore with 161.2 mbps, according to 2018 Digital yearbook.
Mobile connections are faster at 7.4 mpbs but even then only seven other countries offer slower services, according to Digital yearbook.


Toyota recalls 70,000 vehicles to replace air bag inflators

Updated 12 December 2018
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Toyota recalls 70,000 vehicles to replace air bag inflators

  • Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion and inflate the bags
  • Can deteriorate and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister

DETROIT: Toyota is recalling about 70,000 Toyota and Lexus brand vehicles in North America to replace air bag inflators that could explode and hurl shrapnel at drivers and passengers.
The recall covers the 2003 to 2005 Corolla, the 2002 to 2005 Sequoia, the 2003 to 2005 Tundra and the 2002 to 2005 Lexus SC.
Takata uses the chemical ammonium nitrate to create a small explosion and inflate the bags. But it can deteriorate and burn too fast, blowing apart a metal canister.
The Toyota and Lexus vehicles were recalled previously and the inflators replaced with new ones that still used ammonium nitrate. In the latest recall, Toyota will use inflators made by another company with a safer chemical.
Owners will be notified early next year. Toyota says it has replacement parts available.
About 65,000 of the recalled vehicles are in the US
Toyota says it’s doing the recall a year ahead of a schedule set by the US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
At least 23 people have died worldwide due to the problem caused by inflators made by Takata Corp., resulting in the largest series of auto recalls in US history. They cover 37 million vehicles and about 50 million inflators in the US About 100 million inflators are being recalled worldwide.
The recalls forced Takata of Japan to seek bankruptcy protection.