Tunisia’s Ministry of Communication Technologies has announced plans to launch the second phase of its white spots (areas that are currently uncovered) coverage project.
This project aims to expand access to broadband internet in Tunisia. It will do this by highlighting priority deployment areas in an effort to close the digital divide between different areas of the country.
Phase one of the project involved coverage of so-called white spots in 94 areas, providing internet access for more than 164 schools, 59 basic health centres and 180,000 inhabitants. The first phase of the project also enabled the installation of 71 mobile phone base stations.
According to the Zawya news service, the ministry made a statement earlier this week in which it said that, following the completion of the first phase of this project in 2022, the second phase aims to extend coverage to 112 areas.
The ministry also said the number of mobile base stations owned by the three main operators will increase from 5,679 in 2021 to 5,903 by the end of 2022. The three operators – Ooredoo Tunisia, Tunisie Telecom and Orange Tunisie – also share 1,289 radio sites to improve access while reducing operating costs.
In its statement the ministry added that the number of 4G antennas in the country increased from 5,614 in 2021 to 6,560 antennas in 2022, with a penetration rate of around 65% by the end of 2022.
This growth seems to underline the concerns of the June 2022 announcement in which the state-owned incumbent Tunisie Telecom said it wanted to get rid of 3G to focus on 4G, a move driven, in part, by the rapid migration of many users from 3G to 4G.