Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has said that sixteen firms have purchased bid documents for its upcoming ‘triple-play’ licence auction, according to Reuters. Those companies that have confirmed their interest in the concession include existing players in the Egyptian telecoms markets such as mobile network operator MobiNil and full-service telecoms group Orascom Telecom. UAE-based Etisalat meanwhile, which has been widely rumoured to be mulling a bid, has yet to confirm its interest.
Commenting on the terms of the tender, Olfat Abdel Monsef, vice-president for policies, research and development at the NTRA, confirmed however that successful bidders will not be able to lay new infrastructure, even within the residential suburbs the licences cover, noting: ‘It is an access network, it is an access solution to stimulate growth.’
The regulator announced its plans to offer the licences last month, and the licences will allow the sale of fixed line voice, high speed broadband and pay-TV services in upscale suburbs outside the capital which contain between 50 and 5,000 housing units; provision of these services outside these areas will remain restricted. The bidding deadline for the licences has been set as 12 January 2010.