NTRA calls for halt to 4G trials following complaints of impact to 3G services

24 Jan 2017

Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has reportedly requested that the nation’s three mobile network operators (MNOs) – Vodafone Egypt, Orange Egypt and Etisalat Misr – halt trials of 4G services. According to the Egypt Independent, which cites an unnamed source within the local telecom sector, the regulator is said to have called for the suspension as the new services are reportedly impacting the quality of existing third-generation connectivity.

With complaints related to degrading mobile services said to have increased dramatically in the wake of the trials getting underway, complainants are most concerned about the inability to complete voice calls without interruption, while low voice call quality and slow mobile internet connections have also been reported. As per the report, the nation’s 4G service trials are said to have utilised frequencies currently used for 3G services, though it has been noted that when LTE-based offerings are launched commercially, spectrum in a different band will be used.

Another unnamed source within one of the three MNOs confirmed that they had been receiving more complaints on the low quality of service from clients, with this attributed to 4G service trials running on 3G spectrum. The source was cited as saying that an as yet unnamed company would suspend the 4G trials in accordance with the request of the NTRA. Separately, however, Ahram Online reports that Orange Egypt’s 4G trials are continuing, with the cellco saying that once these are complete, and subject to receiving official LTE-suitable spectrum from the NTRA, it will be ready for a commercial launch.