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Wednesday, 8 June 2016

Telecom operators set their recommendations for a 4G licensing framework

The three major telecom operators met earlier this month with ICT Minister Yasser Al Qady to lobby for their vision of the 4G licensing framework, Al Borsa reports. Operators want to persuade the regulator to resolve some of the issues from the defunct unified telecoms license and guarantee “a fair and competitive” environment for all operators once state-owned Telecom Egypt (TE) joins the fray.

The existing operators want to end TE’s monopoly on fiber-optic lines to end — and want to be licensed to rent out their infrastructure to subsidiaries and third parties, suggesting we could see new competition in the ISP space and the creation of a market for virtual mobile network operators. The current Big Three also want to be allocated more 3G spectrum if they’re going to have to allow TE to piggyback on their existing 2G and 3G networks. Orange Egypt and Vodafone Egypt are reportedly pushing to be granted licenses to handle international calls independent of TE at the current market price once TE obtains a 4G license. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority had previously refused issuing international calling licenses at the same rate it granted to TE, charging Vodafone EGP 3.9 mn and Orange Egypt EGP 3.8 mn.

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