EconomyEgyptTechnology

Telecom Egypt to pay fees, not buy mobile licence

State-owned fixed line monopoly Telecom said on Wednesday it would pay fees to become Egypt's third mobile operator, but reiterated it would not buy a new licence.

“We will have to pay fees for our mobile network but they will not be for a licence,” Telecom Egypt's chairman Akil Beshir told Reuters.

Telecom Egypt's potential mobile telephone rivals say they want a level playing field, and the state-owned operator should pay fees and purchase a licence like everyone else.

Telecom Egypt sold its mobile operations to the Egyptian Company for Mobile Services (MobiNil) in 1997, but says it retained an operating licence. The Ministry of Communications' Telecoms Regulatory Authority has approved Telecom Egypt's resumption of mobile services from December 2002, once the current exclusivity arrangement for its rivals expires.

Rivals MobiNil and Vodafone Egypt (Click GSM) may protest if it tries to get back into the high-growth without paying for a new licence, but an official at the Ministry of Communications, who declined to be named, said: “They already obtained a licence before they sold their operation, so they don't need to pay fees for a licence.”

Mobile phone operator Orascom Telecom's chairman Naguib Sawiris told Reuters in March he wanted Telecom Egypt to pay the same licence fee as existing operators. In a country with a population of 66.6 million and only 2.25 million mobile phone subscribers, industry experts say Egypt's mobile phone market is the most promising in the region.

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This article was first published by Reuters on 9 May 2001.

See also  Telecom Egypt to seek international mobile partner

Author

  • 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: 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-language blog. Khaled was longlisted for the Orwell 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 . 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 UK, 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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