Vodafone Egypt has set aside some EGP9.5 billion (USD1.25 billion) to upgrade its network over the next three years as it looks to keep pace with the increasing demand for data services, Reuters reports, citing comments made by the operator’s chief executive. ‘Annual investments will represent more than 30% of annual revenues,’ Vodafone Egypt CEO Ahmed Essam said, adding: ‘By [the] end of this fiscal year in March, we would have spent more than EGP3 billion which equals one third of the allocated investments and also more than 30% of our yearly revenues in Egypt.’ With financing for the planned investments reportedly coming from internal resources, it is understood that spending will cover the purchase of equipment, the modernising of base stations and the expansion of coverage to new areas of the country.
Meanwhile, in separate but related news Daily News Egypt reports that the Independent Trade Union of Workers at Telecom Egypt (TE) has filed four lawsuits to stop the disassociation of the fixed line incumbent from Vodafone Egypt in order to protect workers’ rights and the 5% lobby of minority shareholders. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in September 2014 it was revealed that TE had been given until December 2015 to divest its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt as part of approval for the country’s new unified licensing regime which will allow the fixed line operator to enter the wireless sector under its own steam. With the first hearing having been set for 9 April 2015, Mohammed Abu Quraish, chairman of the Independent Trade Union of Workers at TE, has been cited by the local news source as arguing that nothing in the country’s investment laws obliges the fixed line operator to disassociate from Vodafone Egypt in order to be transformed into an integrated operator.