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Telecom Egypt to seek international mobile partner

Telecom 's chairman has said he would seek a strategic partnership with an international mobile telephone operator via a mid-year tender to prepare the company to re-enter the mobile business next year.

“We need the experience and expertise of an international operator so that we can compete with the likes of France Telecom and Vodafone,” Akil Beshir told Reuters. “The criterion we are considering at the moment for the company is that it must be a major operator with operations in more than one country. It must be willing to invest… and have a commitment to helping develop the operation,” Beshir said.

France Telecom has a stake in one of Egypt's operators, MobiNil, and Vodafone in the other, Click GSM. The local firms' exclusivity agreements expire at the end of 2002. “Telecom Egypt has already got a licence, so it will be able to operate at the end of 2002, once exclusivity expires,” Beshir said.

But although Telecom Egypt, which sold its mobile phone operation to MobiNil in 1997, says it retains an operating licence, its rivals may cry foul if it tries to get back into the high-growth business without paying for a new licence.

Beshir said Telecom Egypt would keep a controlling share in its planned mobile arm, but details of the tender and the size of the stake to be sold to a foreign partner have not been set.

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This article was first published by Reuters on 26 February 2001.

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  • Khaled Diab

    Khaled Diab is an award-winning journalist, blogger and writer who has been based in Tunis, Jerusalem, Brussels, Geneva and . Khaled also gives talks and is regularly interviewed by the print and audiovisual . Khaled Diab is the author of two books: Islam for the Politically Incorrect (2017) and Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and in the Holy Land (2014). In 2014, the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded Khaled its Mediterranean Journalist Award in the press category. This website, The Chronikler, won the 2012 Best of the Blogs (BOBs) for the best English- blog. Khaled was longlisted for the Orwell journalism prize in 2020. In addition, Khaled works as communications director for an environmental NGO based in Brussels. He has also worked as a communications consultant to intergovernmental organisations, such as the and the UN, as well as civil society. Khaled lives with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Katleen, who works in humanitarian aid. The foursome is completed by Iskander, their smart, creative and artistic son, and Sky, their mischievous and footballing cat. Egyptian by birth, Khaled's life has been divided between the and . He grew up in Egypt and the , and has lived in , on and off, since 2001. He holds dual Egyptian-Belgian nationality.

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Khaled Diab

Khaled Diab is an award-winning journalist, blogger and writer who has been based in Tunis, Jerusalem, Brussels, Geneva and Cairo. Khaled also gives talks and is regularly interviewed by the print and audiovisual media. Khaled Diab is the author of two books: Islam for the Politically Incorrect (2017) and Intimate Enemies: Living with Israelis and Palestinians in the Holy Land (2014). In 2014, the Anna Lindh Foundation awarded Khaled its Mediterranean Journalist Award in the press category. This website, The Chronikler, won the 2012 Best of the Blogs (BOBs) for the best English-language blog. Khaled was longlisted for the Orwell journalism prize in 2020. In addition, Khaled works as communications director for an environmental NGO based in Brussels. He has also worked as a communications consultant to intergovernmental organisations, such as the EU and the UN, as well as civil society. Khaled lives with his beautiful and brilliant wife, Katleen, who works in humanitarian aid. The foursome is completed by Iskander, their smart, creative and artistic son, and Sky, their mischievous and footballing cat. Egyptian by birth, Khaled’s life has been divided between the Middle East and Europe. He grew up in Egypt and the UK, and has lived in Belgium, on and off, since 2001. He holds dual Egyptian-Belgian nationality.

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