TE gets new license for mobile services for 2.5 billion EGP
Minister Atef Helmy (L) with the Head of (NTRA) Hisham Alayli - YOUM7/Dina Romeiah

CAIRO: State owned company Telecom Egypt (TE) will provide cell phone services in return of 2.5 billion EGP by getting the unified telecommunication license, Ministry of Telecommunication and Information Technology announced Wednesday.

In return, Egypt’s Mobile operators (Vodafone, Mobinil, and Etisalat) will be allowed to offer fixed-line services for 100 million EGP from each operator in light of the new license terms.

Egypt’s three mobile operators previously threatened to file a legal case against TE to stop this deal were significantly absent from the press conference organized by MCIT for this announcement Wednesday.

Egypt’s mobile operators do not welcome this deal since the state owned company already dominates 45 percent of Vodafone Egypt’s stakes, in addition to having full domination of fixed-line services.

“The first phase of the unified license will come into effect in June,” Head of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) Hisham Alayli said. He explained that NTRA, along with TE and the three mobile operators, will activate the license without allocating a new spectrum, since TE will depend on mobile operators infrastructure.

Minister of Telecommunication and Information Technology Atef Helmy said, “the fixed-line license for cell phone operators will be activated within three months.”

Telecom Egypt should give its shares in Vodafone Egypt a year and a committee will be formed to determine the possible ways for this disassociation process, Helmy said.

The committee will include representatives of Defense, Investment, Planning and International Cooperation, Industry and Trade ministries, to establish a national company for infrastructure.

It is also scheduled to activate the international telecommunication licenses for Mobinil and Vodafone Egypt in June 2016 and 2017 with new terms, Alayli announced.

Vodafone Egypt should pay 1.8 billion EGP for the international license and Mobinil is required to pay 1.5 billion EGP, Alayli detailed. Etisalat will not get an international license since it already has one.

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