Fixed line incumbent Telecom Egypt (TE) will not be required to divest its stake in local mobile network operator Vodafone Egypt following the introduction of 4G services, Reuters reports.
With TE currently holding a 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt, the government had previously indicated that, as part of its plans to provide the former with a 4G licence, it would be required to sell off this holding within a year of launching its own LTE-based services. Now, however, unnamed sources have suggested that TE will not in fact be obligated to divest the shares, with one quoted as saying: ‘The telecommunications regulator is not forcing Telecom Egypt in official correspondence over its application to offer 4G services to get rid of its Vodafone stake.’ Nonetheless, it has been suggested that TE could still look to dump its interest in Vodafone, albeit that the timing would be up to the telco, with another source saying: ‘Telecom Egypt will not keep its stake in Vodafone long term after it offers mobile phone services but will sell when it gets an offer for a good price.’
As reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, earlier this week TE announced it had received official word from the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) confirming that it had been granted a 4G mobile concession. According to the telco, the terms of its new license ‘relate to new 4G spectrum and allow [it] to operate in all aspects of the Egyptian mobile market, thereby better meeting the evolving needs of its customers’. The full terms and conditions of the concession had not been finalised at the time of the announcement, however, and it is understood that the company, after examining the terms and conditions of the proposed licence, must make an official application for it by the first week of August 2016.