CAIRO: Minister of Communication and Information Technology Atef Helmy met on Sunday with Vodafone International and state officials to discuss problems in the communication sector, new investments and Vodafone’s development plans for Egypt, according to a company statement.
Helmy met with Serpil Timuray, regional chairman for Vodafone International, Hesham El Alaily, executive manager for the National Telecom Regulatory Authority, and Hatem Dowidar, CEO of Vodafone Egypt, the statement said.
During the meeting, Helmy said the communication sector in Egypt is working to achieve economic growth, provide job opportunities and boost market development, according to the statement.
Vodafone International seeks to boost investment opportunities and developmental plans in Egypt, Timuray added in the statement, saying that investment opportunities are expected to reach 9 billion EGP and create 3,000 new job opportunities by 2017.
Regarding the latest threats by Vodafone to resort to international arbitration to solve problems over a unified license and to stop unfair deals, Helmy said the problems will be resolved in a few days.
Telecom Egypt is expected to provide the three major companies Etisalat, Vodafone, and Mobinil with a unified license for fixed lines to provide all telecommunication services, including landlines, mobile services and Internet. In return, it will run its own mobile phone operator on the existing three networks.
In its latest statement, Vodafone International said the arbitration law prevents Telecom Egypt, which co-owns 45 percent of Vodafone Egypt, to run another mobile operator in the same market.
In response to Vodafone International’s objection, Mohammed El-Nawawy, chief executive officer for Telecom Egypt, announced March 13 that upon the issuance of a unified license Telecom Egypt will buy the 55 percent remaining shares of Vodafone Egypt or sell its shares to avoid legal questioning, Al-Hayat newspaper reported.
Vodafone’s new investments aim to strengthen and improve the quality of networks, Al-Hayat reported.
Additional reporting by Heba El Said.