Telecom Egypt confirms movement on unified licence

Telecom Egypt confirms movement on unified licence
Published: 7 May 2014 - 10:28 a.m.
By: Stephen McBride

Telecom Egypt's (TE) board of directors has now agreed to pay the fee EGP2.5bn ($360m) for the unified telecoms licence that will allow the operator to enter the mobile market.

According to Reuters, Telecom Egypt said in a statement: "The firm's board of directors agreed in its emergency meeting on 4 May to obtain the mobile phone licence without frequencies in return for EGP2.5bn."

Government-controlled Telecom Egypt holds the monopoly in the country's fixed-line services and owns a 44.95% stake in Vodafone Egypt, which it will have to sell within the year, according to previous reports.

As confirmed by its statement Telecom Egypt will not obtain any frequencies along with its unified licence, but authorities plan to launch a 4G auction in June 2016. Any mobile services launched by the incumbent in the interim will have to be through one of the country's existing players, Vodafone Egypt, MobiNil and Etisalat Misr.

According to a report from Telegeography, the existing three mobile operators will be charged EGP100m for unified licences to use Telecom Egypt's fixed-line infrastructure for service delivery. An annual fee for all unified licences will also apply, including for Telecom Egypt.

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