Egypt’s mobile operators have all acquired 4G licenses from Egypt’s government, allowing them to offer 4G mobile internet speeds to customers.
According to Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Yasser Al-Qady, the sale of 4G licenses generated $US 1.1 billion and EGP 10 billion for the public treasury. The US dollars are coming from abroad and is being considered as direct foreign investment, said the Minister.
On Sunday, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Misr secured the 4G licenses after lengthy negotiations with the government. The agreement with Orange Egypt was reached on Saturday.
According to the Telecommunications Ministry, the agreement with Vodafone is valued at $US 335 million, while the agreement with Etisalat is valued at $US 535.5 million. Meanwhile, Orange Egypt acquired the license in an agreement valued at $US 484 million.
In September, Telecom Egypt (TE) became the first operator to sign a deal to acquire the 4G license.
The agreements come after the three operators refused to apply to the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) for 4G licenses in September. There had been concerns by the operators over the requirement that the payment be made in US dollars.
Importantly, it is a significant step for mobile users. There are more than 100 million mobile subscribers in Egypt, more than the population itself.
A report issued by the Ministry of Communications in November 2014 shows a fair growth in internet access via mobile devices that reached 7.2 percent, with a total number of internet mobile users that reached 20.2 million out of a total 44.5 million internet users in Egypt.