Egypt is officially gearing up for a new mobile phone operator’s license, nearly two years after it had expected the fourth license to go through. State-run landline operator Telecom Egypt has shown the most interest and believes it will be awarded the new license.
Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) said “the price for the country’s fourth mobile license will be set by the second half of 2013.”
The authority had already begun the procedure of issuing the license to the state-owned landline monopoly Telecom Egypt in December 2012.
At the same time the three established mobile operators, Mobinil, Vodafone Egypt, and Etisalat, will be allowed to provide landline services using TE infrastructure.
NTRA CEO Amr Badawi told local newspapers that the mobile communications market “had reached 115-120 percent penetration, but this was not a reason to hold back on a fourth license.”
He added that the authority “is still examining the issue posed by TE’s ownership of 45 percent of Vodafone Egypt.”