CAIRO: Egypt will offer two licenses that will introduce a new telecom service to the country and boost competition in the sector, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Tarek Kamel said Wednesday.
Two consortiums will be invited to bid for triple play licenses, which will provide cable, telephone and internet services mostly to new urban communities, Kamel said at the Euromoney conference.
The bid is expected to draw investments of $1 billion within five years, Kamel added.
“This (tender) announcement will be issued formally [Thursday] in the newspapers and will invite two players, two consortiums from local and international players, to invest in integrated triple play and in the future maybe quadruple-play telecommunication services, Reuters quoted Kamel as saying.
Introducing triple play would help boost competition in Egypt’s telecom market.
Bids would be due in January and the operators would start work in the second half of 2010, Reuters reported, and Egypt would want the operators to share 8 percent of their revenue with the government.
The new triple play operators would likely have to work with Telecom Egypt’s existing infrastructure.
A year earlier, Egypt postponed an auction for a second fixed-line license due to the financial crisis and has not yet announced when it will resume.
The communications and IT sector contributed 3.8 percent to Egypt’s GDP, Kamel said at the conference, adding that mobile phone penetration grew 37 percent in 2008/09, reaching 70 percent of the population.
Kamel highlighted Egypt’s rank as the fourth destination in the world for off-shoring services, according to a study released in London last week.
Updating attendees on Maadi’s Call Center Park, Kamel said the first building is complete and the first company is ready to launch operations.
In cooperation with the Ministry of Investment, the ministry hopes to attract more investors to the area.
Electricity Minister Hassan Younes also spoke to attendees of the Euromoney conference, touting Egypt’s plans for renewable energy, namely 140 MW installations by 2010.
With several projects underway, Egypt hopes to generate 20 percent of its energy from renewable sources.
As for its peaceful nuclear power program, Younes said the country is establishing independent regulatory agencies, hiring international consultant to develop human resources and maintain transparency on the process.
With high potentials for wind and solar energy, Egypt is cooperating with countries such as Germany and Denmark to develop renewable energy resources.
Hoping to become a regional hub serving the Middle East and North Africa, Younes said Egypt is focusing on renewable energy, “green policies and public private partnerships.