Egypt to issue landline licences to mobile firms in weeks
The move will end state-owned Telecom Egypt’s fixed-line monopoly
Egypt will issue landline telecom licenses to participating mobile operators within weeks, the country’s communications minister said on Wednesday, in a move that will end state-owned Telecom Egypt’s fixed-line monopoly.
In September, the government approved issuing new unified licenses that would allow Telecom Egypt to launch mobile services in return for the three mobile operators -- Vodafone Egypt, Mobinil and Etisalat -- entering the landline market.
The reforms have caused some disquiet among mobile firms, with Mobinil -- majority-owned by France’s Orange -- warning in November it might opt out of the landline option unless it was permitted to build its own fixed networks, rather than just using Telecom Egypt’s infrastructure.
But Atef Helmy, Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology, told reporters all three mobile operators were keen on expanding into fixed-lines and that the necessary licenses would be issued soon.
“We’re talking about weeks, not more, and the fee has been decided and communicated to them -- we are asking for fixed-line license for 100 million Egyptian pounds ($13.1 million),” said Helmy, when asked when the fixed-line licenses would be awarded.
Egypt’s mobile sector is saturated, with a penetration rate of 115 percent at the end of 2012, or 1.15 subscriptions per person, according to the International Telecommunication Union.
Telecom Egypt has agreed to pay 2.5 billion Egyptian pounds for a mobile licence, but does not plan to build its own network until it can obtain permission to provide high-speed 4G -- or long-term evolution (LTE) -- broadband services.
Telecom Egypt, 80-percent government owned, must sell its 45 percent stake in Vodafone Egypt by the end of 2015, Helmy reiterated, but declined to provide further details.
Telecom Egypt has relied on its data business to boost revenue while it waits to launch mobile services.
Vodafone Egypt’s profit for the 2014 financial year fell 9.8 percent to 165 million pounds ($252 million), according to parent firm Vodafone’s annual report.
Etisalat Misr, majority-owned by Abu Dhabi-listed Etisalat, reported a 7.4 percent rise in third-quarter revenue to 1.2 billion dirhams, the most recently available reporting period.
Egypt approves unified landline and mobile telecoms licenceThe licence was due to be activated on June 30 but the date passed without implementation Telecoms
Telecom Egypt posts 14 pct rise in Q2 profitTelecom Egypt is waiting for the government to approve a unified license for mobile and landline services. Economy
Mobile license offered to Telecom Egypt for $360mThe country’s three existing mobile phone service providers are Vodafone Egypt, Mobinil and Etisalat Telecoms
Egypt unified telecom license to be activated before June 30The license would allow telecommunication companies to operate fixed-line and mobile networks Telecoms
Telecom Egypt expects mobile license in March or AprilEgypt’s landline monopoly expects government to grant it a license soon Telecoms
Telecom Egypt hopes to win mobile license this yearTelecom Egypt currently serves 35 million customers and can provide mobile services one or two months after receiving the license Telecoms
Egypt’s Naguib Sawiris ‘still interested’ in Telecom ItaliaThe Egyptian tycoon says he will only invest in the carrier if Madrid’s Telefonica exits Telecoms
Egypt’s Orascom Telecom shares surge, Cairo market reboundsEgypt’s Orascom Telecom rebounded Thursday after a newspaper report said Algeria was close to resolving a long-running row with the Cairo-listed ... Business
Egypt’s Orascom Telecom drops bid to buy Wind MobileA subsidiary of European telecoms company Vimpelcom Ltd has withdrawn its bid to acquire control of Canada’s Wind Mobile, a surprise move that ... Telecoms