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Telecom Egypt, the country’s only fixed-line operator, has said it will launch mobile phone services by July as soon as the industry regulator awards it an operating licence
The company, which is seeking to launch the services to ease pressure from declining landline subscriptions, said it would move forward with technical tests soon.
Company sources commented, “Telecom Egypt is ready to launch the service once it gets the licence.”
The Egyptian government is planning to allow Telecom Egypt to provide mobile phone services, according to government sources. At the same time, the three existing mobile operators in Egypt — Mobinil, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Misr — will also be allowed to provide landline services.
The government regulator, the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA), has assigned a German company to price the new licences by mid-June.
Telecom Egypt, which is 80 per cent state-owned, has seen its annual profits in 2012 drop by 13 per cent to US$375mn compared to US$430mn a year earlier, due to rising expenses and declining land-line subscriptions.
The anticipated licence will be a virtual one by which Telecom Egypt will use the existing infrastructure of competing operators, while other mobile operators will use its landline network infrastructure.