Telecom Italia and Telecom Egypt team up for mobile licence; deadline tomorrow

3 May 2006

Telecom Italia is the latest big name to enter the running for Egypt’s third mobile licence, announcing plans to team up with national incumbent Telecom Egypt to make a bid for the concession. The two companies have previously joined forces to offer IP services in the country. It was originally thought that Telecom Egypt would not be allowed to participate in the bidding after handing back its own mobile licence in 2003, but the telco has now been given tacit authority to enter the tender.

Egypt’s National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) says more than 20 companies have paid USD25,000 for tender documents for the GSM licence auction so far. Telenor of Norway, Etisalat of the UAE, MTC of Kuwait and South Africa’s MTN are all planning to bid. Interested parties have until tomorrow to submit their proposals after the NTRA extended the original 17 April deadline. To qualify for the licence, foreign bidders must partner with an Egyptian entity and pay a USD4.4 million bond guarantee.