CAIRO: Ministry of Communication and Information Technology (CIT) is working on acquiring 9-10 percent of the Gross Domestic Products (GDP) in the last quarter of current Fiscal Year (FY), which will end on June 30, 2014, the Minister Atef Helmy announced Monday.
CIT will work in the upcoming period to raise Egypt’s receipts of communication sector from the scheduled 14 billion EGP by the end of the current FY to 70 billion EGP in 2020, Mubasher News Gate reported.
“To achieve the 10 percent growth rate and participation with vital part of Egypt’s revenues, CIT is activating some plans and procedures,” Helmy said, which include the fulfillment unified license of telecommunication, applying broadband services, and expanding the rate of investments at the sector.
CIT will finish the contention points and comments of the unified license in coordination with the National Communication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) and the Egyptian working communication companies.
The problem of the unified license has been debated for a long time between CIT and the three mobile operators Etisalat, Vodafone, and Mobinil. The mobile operators are considering a unified license as an intervention and government-biased to achieve interest for the state-owned company Telecom Egypt.
In the unified license agreement, Telecom Egypt will provide three major communication companies with part of fixed lines’ services to provide all telecommunication services including landlines, mobile services, and Internet.
In return, Telecom Egypt will run its own mobile phone operator on the existing three networks.
To achieve 9-10 percent of GDP, CIT launched a pilot project for applying broadband Internet.
The project includes utilizing broadband services for 1,600 subsidiaries of nine ministries and governmental agencies. The government offered tender to execute the project but the three Mobile operators withdrew from the tender, which prevented any further progress, Mubasher reported.
Head of NTRA Hisham Al-Alaily announced that the authority is working to solve the problems with the mobile operators to achieve the unified license before the end of current FY.
Commenting on CIT developmental plans, Tarek Al Hemeily, chairman of Etisal association board of directors, told The Cairo Post that achieving 10 percent of GDP depends on achieving political and economic stability, settling the problem of the communication sector, and expanding investments in the sector.
Hemeily praised the unified license of communications which will increase the communication revenues in the upcoming period but applying the unified license in this manner is considered illegal intervention from the government that could negatively affect new investments.
“Withdrawing the three mobile operators from the CIT tender for applying broadband services is considered an objection against the unified license,” Hemeily added.
CIT initiative for automating governmental bodies is a vital step towards promoting the sector in the upcoming period, pointing out that such measures will ease the citizens’ burdens in executing any measures and increasing CIT’s revenues.