Mobinil claims 3G license not profitable on its own

15 Oct 2008

According to The Daily News Egypt, cellco Mobinil has claimed that it does not expect to make a profit from its 3G operations, with a company executive claiming that it would not have purchased the licence if the deal had not included an extension of its 2G licence. Mobinil paid EGP3.34 billion (USD601 million) for its 3G licence, paying the first instalment in July 2007, although the licence was not officially awarded until October that year; commercial services were not launched until September 2008. Guillaume Van Gaver, vice president of Mobinil’s commercial division has claimed that the costs of handsets, coupled with difficulties accessing content had slowed the development of 3G services in the country, noting, ‘Until the cost of the handsets is not so high it will be very difficult in Egypt for us to bring in 3G revenue streams.’ Mr Van Gaver also stated that the operator was set to continue balancing investment between its 2G and 3G networks, adding that the cellco currently has approximately 200,000 3G subscribers. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms database, Mobinil rivals Etisalat Misr and Vodafone Egypt also provide 3G services, having bagged licences in July 2006 and January 2007 respectively.

Egypt, Orange Egypt