Egypt’s telecoms regulator, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), announced yesterday an auction for a second fixed line telephony licence, calling for consortiums of local and overseas companies to present offers by 19 June 2008. In a statement published in Egyptian financial newspaper Al-Alam Al-Youm, the NRTA stated that tender documents would be made available by mid-March. NRTA executive president Dr. Amr Badawi explained that the entry of a second fixed line operator into the market would enhance the introduction of new services. Egyptian telcos Orascom and Etisalat Misr have previously expressed interest in a landline licence with the latter already having declared its intention to bid. Others reported to be interested include Saudi Arabia’s Atheeb group, Egypt’s Raya Technology and Communications, and Egypt Post. All bidders will be required to submit an auction guarantee of EGP10 million (USD1.8 million) as well as USD10,000 for bidding documents. Telecom Egypt is currently Egypt’s sole fixed line provider. Vodafone Egypt, in which Telecom Egypt has a 48.97% stake, is believed to be barred from bidding for the fixed licence.