Telecom Egypt (TE) received a letter from the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) concerning its right to obtain a licence to provide mobile phones with fourth-generation (4G) services.
According to TE’s statement to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX), the 4G licence is an opportunity to turn the company into an integrated telecom operator.
The cabinet agreed in May to put forward the 4G services licence without setting a specific time. Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser Elkady announced that the 4G licence will be launched in the first quarter (Q1) of 2016, before delaying the launch to the second half of 2016.
Three mobile phone service companies are operating in the domestic market: Vodafone Egypt, subsidiary to Vodafone; and Orange Egypt, subsidiary to the French Orange; and Etisalat Egypt, subsidiary to the Emirati Etisalat. In addition to these, TE is the only company that provides fixed telephones services in the Egyptian market.
The Egyptian government owns about 80% of TE’s shares, and TE owns 45% of Vodafone Egypt. The ministry is planning to separate TE from Vodafone once the company gets the 4G licence.
Orange Egypt received a letter from the NTRA notifying it of the value of the 4G licence, which is EGP 3.540bn, and that 50% of the value will be collected in US dollars.
Orange stated that the NTRA told the company that the cost of getting a fixed telephone services’ licence is roughly EGP 100m, and the cost to licence international telecommunication services is roughly EGP 1.8bn.