Egypt’s fixed line incumbent Telecom Egypt (TE) has called on mobile network operator MobiNil to pay it EGP2 billion (USD364.4 million) as part of a contract dispute, according to TMC.net. The move follows an arbitration suit launched by MobiNil in September 2009 in which MobiNil requested that TE maintain old interconnection fees, despite the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) issuing a ruling lowering interconnect rates between fixed and mobile lines. Subsequently TE launched a counterclaim that argued MobiNil owed EGP2 billion relating to the dispute.
It is understood however that the cellco has said it will not pay the sum unless instructed to by an independent arbitrator, with MobiNil vice president of finance, Khalid Ellaicy, when asked about the cellco’s intention to pay, noting: ‘No, absolutely not. Not any time soon. That would mean we lost the arbitration and that the arbitration committee held that there was a basis and a calculation behind the EGP2 billion, which we do not believe at all.’