The three Egyptian mobile operator companies Vodafone, Orange, and Etisalat have declined to buy the fourth-generation (4G) service licences offered by the government, according to Reuters.
The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) is selling 4G licences in an attempt to reform the telecommunication sector. The deadline for local telecommunication companies to apply for the licence acquisition was Thursday.
NTRA has set the prices for the 4G frequencies at EGP 3.5bn for both Vodafone and Orange, EGP 4.5bn for Etisalat Misr, and EGP 5.5bn for Telecom Egypt (TE). The authority decided that 50% of the value should be paid in US dollars.
Although Egypt gave domestic mobile operators the priority, the government said that it will launch an international tender in case they declined.
A number of foreign multinational companies are interested in Egypt’s 4G licences. Kuwaiti company Zain offered to buy a licence upfront in US dollar instalments, and Saudi Telecom and Lebara KSA also expressed interest in the matter.