Egypt’s second largest mobile network operator by subscribers, Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil), has applied for a licence to set up an international gateway, according to Zawya. It is understood that the operator is currently negotiating with the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) regarding the fee for such a concession, with the report citing MobiNil chief executive officer Yves Gauthier as saying: ‘We want to have our own international calls license to provide our service directly to more than 31 million customers in Egypt. We are negotiating with NTRA to reduce the fee, which is EGP 3.1 billion (USD 516 million).’
The development follows on from earlier suggestions by the cellco, and as noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, in September 2009 MobiNil said it could consider lodging an application for its own international gateway licence if it was unsuccessful in pressing its existing provider for price cuts; at that date MobiNil had an agreement with Telecom Egypt (TE) for routing international traffic, under an agreement signed in early 2008. The cellco called on the incumbent to reduce the charges for leasing circuits and telephone exchanges for international calls, before June 2011 saw reports that TE had reached an initial agreement with MobiNil regarding the fees for using TE’s network infrastructure and for international gateway services.