Mobinil, Egypt’s largest cellco by subscribers, has reported an 18% drop in net income year-on-year for the three months ended 30 June 2008, falling to EGP425 million (USD81 million) for the period. Analysts suggested that the substantial drop was a result of Mobinil’s unexpectedly large allowance for depreciation and amortisation. With the operator expanding its customer base into lower income groups and substantial tariff cuts in April this year, average revenue per user (ARPU) has also declined, down from EGP59 last year to EGP47, a drop of 19%.
New details regarding Mobinil’s plans for the launch of 3G services have also been revealed by Egypt’s state news agency, MENA. The cellco announced in April 2008 that it would delay launch following problems with the release of spectrum for testing by regulatory authorities; Mobinil was meant to receive the frequency band on 17 January, but the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) did not release the spectrum until 27 March. It is now understood that the cellco will launch its 3G network on 1 September.