Accusations Against ALVAL/ORVAL Cable System


The shambles of Imane Houda Faraoun

By Kamel Ghimouze
January 15, 2020

Information relating to the effective commissioning of the submarine cable reveals a real deception, orchestrated more than a year ago by the department of Imane Houda Faraoun, still Minister of Post and ICT. at that time.

The announcement made to APS last Tuesday by the Minister of Post and Telecommunications, Brahim Boumzar, regarding the commissioning of the Alval / Orval fiber optic submarine cable system connecting Algeria to Spain on December 31, had been preceded, more than a year ago, by a fictitious inauguration and with great pomp of the same system. The information relayed by the official press agency more than ten days after the effective commissioning of the Alval / Orval cable reveals a real deception, orchestrated, more than a year ago, by the department of Imane Houda Faraoun, still Minister of Post and ICT at the time.

Indeed, from Valence, the former minister close to the inner circle of the deposed head of state, but nevertheless renewed in the government of Noureddine Bedoui and even during the interim provided by Sabri Boukadoum, had proceeded on December 5, 2019 , at the inauguration of this same system in the company of the Algerian ambassador to Spain, Toufik Milat.

An inauguration with great fanfare since, simultaneously, the CEO of Algeria Telecom at that time simultaneously presided over the presumed launch of the Oran station at a time when officials of the supervisory authority and Algeria Telecom held a ceremony for “Commissioning” of the Algiers station. Back on a bogus instrumented by a minister caught up with corruption scandals. She who is currently under a warrant of committal, since last December 8 after her hearing by the indictment chamber near the court of Algiers for a case of contracts related to the activities of the Kouninef brothers, in particular the Mobilink subsidiary of their KouGC group which had obtained a juicy agreement from Algeria Telecom, for the installation of Horia public telephone booths,

Officially, Arval / Orval is the first submarine system managed 100% by Algeria. Its cost would be of the order of $ 27 million and is able to provide “total independence to the country, in particular with the creation, in 2016, of Algeria Telecom Europe in Spain, in order to represent Algeria in the implementation of the system and its economic operation ”. With a capacity of 40 terabits per second and a length of over 770 kilometers, the Alval (Alger-Valence) and Orval (Oran-Valence) fiber-optic submarine cable connects the national communication network from the El-Djamila station in Algiers and the Aïn El-Turck station in Oran, on the European network, at the city of Valence.

Launched in March 2015 with the signing of a contract with the Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) and IT International Telecom Marine SRL for the realization of the Orval fiber optic link, this project was accompanied, the same year, by the signing a notification of agreement by the Ministry of Post and ICT, authorizing Algeria Telecom to join the Orval project through the implementation of the Alval project, financed from AT’s own funds. The laying of this submarine cable, the fitting out and installation of all the equipment of the two stations of Oran and Algiers had started in December 2015, to be finalized in June 2018.

Curiously, it is on the eve of the presidential election of December 12, 2019 that Minister Imane Houda Faraoun finally deigned to announce with pomp the commissioning of this project on December 5, 2019. Powder in the eyes or communication operation the day before an uncertain electoral meeting in the context of the time, Imane Houda Faraoun, who was witnessing an unimaginable scenario shortly, that of the cascade arrests of senior state officials and members of the governments she has been a member since May 2015, probably hoped to escape justice as a result of the suspicions that already weighed on the management of his sector.

The day after this false inauguration, on December 9, 2019, it will return to the charge on the airwaves of public radio on the history of this cable and the “prowess” of its reception with, already, 18 months late. Affirming that the works of construction of the stations at the level of Algiers and Oran did not start until the end of 2015, it will justify this delay by “the discovery” at the level of Algeria Telecom of a contract entered into with a foreign company, “probably for fear of having to manage a complex project”, for a national submarine infrastructure carried out with public funds.

“In other words, this cable would have been Algerian in its landings here, in Algiers and in Oran, and foreign at the level of Valence although it was nevertheless 100% produced with public funds. It was therefore, she continued, an administrative, legal and organizational battle that we waged in Spain, in order to terminate this contract with a French company established there and to create a national operator, a branch of Algeria Telecom in Europe which was responsible for creating a station, while the terminal equipment of our cable was already with the foreign service provider and they had to be moved and reinstalled again… ”

She will add above all that “today, we can congratulate ourselves on having a 100% Algerian infrastructure managed by our operator, and we have won, in addition to a cable, a station that could land dozens of other cables, that is to say that we can now provide other operators who would have their own cables, but also, we have an operator under Spanish law who could provide services in Europe ”. What Imane Houda Faraoun will not say is his fabrications around this project which was far from functional.

This is what attempts, moreover, to justify the announcement of its commissioning made public the day before yesterday. “This system, which was to be launched in December 2019, was only put into service on December 31, 2020 due to financial, legal, administrative and technical constraints”, we read in the APS dispatch. . Truths that many executives of Algeria Telecom have been silent since the “smoker” inauguration. It was also necessary for a formal notice from the services of Prime Minister Abdelaziz Djerad to be sent to Algérie Télécom last October, the respondent to resolve the commissioning of the Alval / Orval cable for things to happen. ‘speed up.

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