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DSL Internet Price Hikes Spark Outrage in Egypt

March 23, 2024

When Abdelsalam Mohamed, a 29-year-old Egyptian woman, tried to renew her home internet package to continue working, she noticed that her 600 Gigabytes package that cost her EGP 550 (USD 11.83) per month is now costing around EGP 725 (USD 15.59). “I can not pay that much for internet, so I had to change my package to 300 Gigabytes per month for EGP 382 (USD 8.21),” Mohamed told Egyptian Streets.

Telecom Egypt, Etisalat, Orange, and Vodafone announced on 2 January 2024 the new prices of digital subscriber line (DSL) packages, which were approved by the Egyptian National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRAEG), to be applied starting 5 January.

Prices increased by percentages ranging from 29.41 percent to 33.33 percent. The minimum monthly package across all companies starts from EGP 160 (USD 3.44) for 140 Gigabytes (GB), for the lowest speed of 30 Megabits per second (Mbps), value-added tax excluded.

When a package is consumed, the internet slows down to 265 kilobits per second (kbps) with no limit. This speed renders the internet unfunctional. However, the user could purchase additional GBs, from 20 GB to 100 GB, for prices ranging from EGP 30 (USD 0.65) to EGP 100 (USD 2.15).

“It was already expensive, barely lasted the full month, and would disconnect for no apparent reason,” Fadwa Mahmoud told Egyptian Streets. “The increase in price for something limited and mediocre is absurd.”

The main internet provider in Egypt, Telecom Egypt, stated that the price spike is to sustain its services amid the increasing operational costs. This is in light of the electricity and public transportation price increase, as inflation decreases.

According to the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) January 2024 monthly inflation developments report, inflation slowed, recording 29.8 percent in January 2024, down from 33.7 percent in December 2023 and from its peak of 38 percent in September 2023.

Nonetheless, these events were followed by the devaluation of the Egyptian pound by 33.58 percent, reaching around EGP 46.5 (USD 1), on 23 March, from approximately EGP 30.9 (USD 1) on 5 March, marking an ever-changing and unstable economy in Egypt.

Egyptians are calling for unlimited internet

These decisions and changes prompted Egyptians to start demanding the revaluation of current internet quota packages and speeds, as well as having unlimited internet.

A group of people wrote a petition for Unlimited Home Internet addressing Egypt’s Prime Minister, Mustafa Madbouly.

The statement thanked him for his continuous efforts and development of the nation, urging the need for digital advancements, which are rudimentary to all development projects and investments. Such digital developments include the reevaluation of internet service prices and having unlimited internet, with prices being calculated based on speed not usage.


The petition also states that internet services providers, Telecom Egypt (WE), Vodafone, Etisalat, and Orange are monopolizing these basic services, thus having control freedom to control the prices.

“The increase rate is high in exchange for a very unsatisfactory service and product,” Esraa Ismael told Egyptian News. “It’s limited usage, limited speed, and unstable, so what are we paying money for?”

A campaign asking for unlimited internet in Egypt was launched in 2022, only to die out, but starting 16 March 2024, in the wake of the price hike, the hashtag, #Unlimited_Internet_In_Egypt, has regained traction on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Abouzaid, an X user tweeted, stating that GBs are not something that is manufactured in Egypt, so there’s no need to put a price tag on an amount of them. Another user, Mahmoud, tweeted, “How do you want to have an e-government and a digital Egypt, when you don’t have unlimited internet in Egypt? Can you explain?”

Another hashtag that Egyptians have used is #Limited_Internet. One user wrote, “Internet companies in Egypt are scammers who are taking advantage of people. Not only is the internet quality below par, but they also increased prices.”

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