Telenor of Norway is the latest big name to be considering a bid for Egypt’s third mobile licence, according to spokesman Esben Tuman Johnsen. ‘Egypt is an interesting market with two operators today,’ Johnsen said. ‘It is an emerging market and sits very well with the opportunities we are looking for.’ Egypt’s National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) says 18 companies have paid USD25,000 for tender documents for the auction of the GSM licence so far. Etisalat of the UAE, MTC of Kuwait and South Africa’s MTN are all planning to bid and, despite previous comments that incumbent fixed line operator Telecom Egypt would not be allowed to participate, it has been reported that the telco has been given tacit authority to enter the tender. Interested parties have until 17 April to submit their proposals and pay a USD4.4 million bond guarantee. To qualify for the licence, foreign bidders must partner with an Egyptian entity.