Egypt could offer 4G licences to international buyers after rejection by incumbent cellcos

23 Sep 2016

Egyptian authorities are expected to consider offering 4G licences to international companies via auction, after all three of the nation’s existing cellcos opted not to take up the concessions. According to Reuters, Vodafone Egypt, Orange Egypt and Etisalat Misr opted not to take up the proposed authorisations on the grounds that the terms were not viable. For its part, Vodafone Egypt issued a statement in which it said: ‘Vodafone confirms that it would be ready to acquire a 4G licence if the terms and conditions can be revised.’ Meanwhile, Orange Egypt was cited as saying: ‘Orange Egypt … has decided not to apply for the license to offer 4G in light of the current terms and conditions.’

On the back of the rejections, the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) confirmed that the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) had informed the cellcos that, as none of them had applied for a licence, the pre-agreed conditions and prices for them had been cancelled. The NTRA’s Board of Directors (BoD) meanwhile held a meeting yesterday, headed by the Minister of Communications and Information Yasser ElKady, in which it was decided to consider a number of alternative means, including an international tender for the 4G concessions. These alternatives will reportedly be presented to the BoD at its next meeting, due to take place early next month.