6 May 2010
Chinese vendor Huawei has reportedly completed the second phase of the deployment of HSPA+ technology across Egyptian cellco Etisalat Misr’s network. According to TMC.net, Huawei has said that the latest stage of the development project has seen it increase theoretical speeds across the whole of Etisalat’s network to up to 42Mbps, up from the previous 21Mbps limit. The network upgrade is the latest carried out by Huawei for the mobile operator; the pair have a long-standing partnership dating back to 2006, and it was Huawei that was responsible for the initial rollout of HSPA+ back in mid-2009. According to the vendor Etisalat’s 3G infrastructure now covers more than 80% of the country’s population, and it is understood that the latest speed upgrade is available network-wide.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Etisalat is currently the smallest operator in terms of overall subscribers in Egypt with a customer base of around 9.5 million at end-December 2009, giving it a market share of just over 16%. Despite trailing both Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil) and Vodafone Egypt, which held 43.5% and 40.1% of the market respectively at end-2009, it has however performed well in terms of third-generation customers; at that date it was second only to MobiNil in terms of 3G sign-ups, with an estimated 4.75 million.