Telecom Egypt aims for MVNO licence by end-2011

7 Jul 2011

According to Akil Beshir, the chairman of fixed line incumbent Telecom Egypt (TE), the telco continues to discuss the possibility of acquiring a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) licence with the government, with a view to bagging permission to launch such services by the end of 2011. Reporting on the matter, Reuters cited the executive as saying: ‘Many people do not expect this government to take a major decision like introducing an MVNO, but we keep working on it.’ While TE, in the short term, is looking to increased uptake of data services to offset continued declines in its traditional fixed line customer base, the company is squarely focused on becoming a ‘total telecom service provider’, with Beshir saying that this meant pushing for entrance to the mobile voice sector.

As previously reported by CommsUpdate, TE was first said to be examining the possibility of launching as an MVNO in September 2010 as a means to becoming more involved in the country’s mobile sector, prompted in part by continued fixed to mobile substitution. The telco already holds a stake in one of the country’s mobile network operators, Vodafone Egypt, but efforts to increase its holding in the cellco in the first half of 2010 came to nought after it could not agree a price for UK-based Vodafone Group’s 55% stake in the operator.

Egypt, Telecom Egypt