The Egyptian government this week has lodged a proposal to grant fixed-line provider Telecom Egypt a license to become the fourth mobile operator in the country. It is said that the fourth license will be made available to them for $357-million, while other mobile operators will be able to apply for a fixed-line license for $14-million.
According to Egypt’s State Information Service, Telecommunications Minister Atef Helmy said in a press conference on Wednesday, that the government also approved licenses to construct and rent infrastructure at $42-million.
The granting of land-line licenses to other mobile operators is a rather big step for Egypt, as state-owned Telecom Egypt is currently the only land-line operator in the country. However, Telecom Egypt hopes to enter the mobile arena once the fourth license is granted to them.
A similar situation played out in South Africa a number of years ago, as partly State-owned Telkom (whhich at the time was the only land-line operator) launched a mobile offerring – trading as 8ta, later rebranded as Telkom Mobile.
Charlie Fripp – Consumer Tech editor