BUSI­NESS NEWS Mo­bile li­cence of­fered to Tele­com Egypt for $360m: min­istry

Daily Trust - - BUSINESS NEWS -

Fixed line mo­nop­oly op­er­a­tor Tele­com Egypt has been asked to pay 2.5 bil­lion Egyp­tian pounds ($360 mil­lion) for the mo­bile li­cence it wants, the coun­try’s telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions min­is­ter Atef Helmy said at news con­fer­ence yes­ter­day.

The coun­try’s three ex­ist­ing mo­bile phone ser­vice providers are Voda­fone Egypt, Mobinil and Eti­salat Egypt but with Egyp­tians in­creas­ingly us­ing mo­bile phones and the In­ter­net in­stead of mak­ing fixed line phone calls Tele­com Egypt has been re­ly­ing on its data traf­fic for rev­enue growth.

It al­ready has a joint ven­ture with Voda­fone but has been wait­ing to launch a sep­a­rate mo­bile oper­a­tion.

“All mea­sures re­lated to the uni­fied li­cence will be fin­ished by June 30,” Helmy said, re­fer­ring to the new form of li­cence which will cover both mo­bile and fixed line ser­vices.

A li­cence for com­pa­nies cur­rently run­ning mo­bile ser­vices which gives them ac­cess to Tele­com Egypt’s fixed line net­work is priced at 100 mil­lion pounds, Helmy said.

De­tails of the new li­cence have been sent to the tele­coms com­pa­nies, he added. 4G AUC­TION IN 2016 The uni­fied li­cence will not in­clude any new fre­quen­cies for Tele­com Egypt, such as 4G mo­bile broad­band ser­vices, Helmy said.

The head of tele­coms reg­u­la­tor He­sham El Alaily said an auc­tion of ra­dio spec­trum for 4G ser­vices would be held in June 2016.

Un­til then Tele­com Egypt would of­fer mo­bile ser­vices through the other com­pa­nies’ net­works. He added the new uni­fied li­cence means that no com­pany would have a mo­nop­oly on a ser­vice.

The grant of the new uni­fied li­cence re­quires a sin­gle pay­ment plus an an­nual fee, Alaily told Reuters. He did not give any de­tails on the an­nual fees.

TELE­COM EGYPT TO SELL VODA­FONE STAKE

Mean­while Tele­com Egypt has been given a one-year dead­line to sell its near 45 per­cent stake in Voda­fone Egypt, Helmy said.

Egypt’s govern­ment owns around 80 per­cent of Tele­com Egypt, ac­cord­ing to Thom­son Reuters data. Shares in Tele­com Egypt last traded up 1.8 per­cent at 17.27 pounds at 1231 GMT, while Mobinil shares were down 0.33 per­cent at 119.50 pounds.

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