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Monday, 8 August 2016

Communications Ministry gives MNOs two days to sign 4G agreement

You’ve got 48 hours to sign the 4G agreement, the CIT Ministry told the mobile network operators, according to Al Shorouk. So far, none of the three mobile network have reached an agreement to acquire the 4G licence, even though the preset deadline for signing was yesterday. A source says the companies are still insisting that the ministry auctions off a wider spectrum, saying the current offering is inadequate. Disagreements with the ministry also involve the fees Telecom Egypt must pay the MNOs to piggyback off their networks, Al Borsa reports. The haggling even included the pricing of text messages on the 4G network. No word has filtered to the media on whether a resolution was reached over TE exiting its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt, an issue over which existing MNOs are more than a little concerned.

TE’s board of directors officially approved applying for a 4G license yesterday, a company source tells Reuters, adding that the company would pay the full amount requested by the regulator.

…The government is encouraging businesses to break the law, Al Borsa says. By requiring domestic businesses to settle contracts in foreign currency, as the CIT Ministry is asking MNOs to do, it is in violation of legislation requiring all local contracts to be settled in EGP. A banking source tells the paper all domestic companies bidding for government contracts that require payment in foreign currency are having to resort to the parallel market, which adds to the pressure on the currency, driving up the parallel market rate.

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