Egypt’s telecommunications minister Tarek Kamel as said that the country is unlikely to offer any new operating licenses, be they for mobile or fixed services, before 2013, Reuters reports. ‘Offering a second fixed line licence in the local market in the coming period has lost its economic merit in light of the drop in the number of fixed line users currently,’ Mr Kamel said.
As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, the sale of the country’s second national fixed line licence has seen a number of delays. Having set the terms and conditions for the award of such a concession in July 2007, and with offers due by 19 June 2008, in May the deadline was postponed until 29 July as ‘discussions on local connectivity agreements were ongoing’. In early July the date was pushed back once more, this time to 18 September, with the second delay attributed to the turbulent global markets and continuing discussions on interconnection. Subsequently, in September 2008 the NTRA revealed a third, and more significant, postponement, with the auction process pushed back by at least one year, and more recently in December 2009 it was announced that a sale would not be considered until after the sale of two geographically-limited triple-play concessions, which was completed in July 2010.