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Tuesday, 11 October 2016

MNOs reportedly refuse to give TE access to network infrastructure

YOUR MOVE, TE: Orange Egypt, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Misr have all reportedly refused to sign national roaming agreements with Telecom Egypt (TE) that would have allowed it to operate 2G and 3G services on their networks, sources told Al Mal. TE had begun negotiations with the existing mobile network operators to operate mobile virtual networks in early September, after it acquired Egypt’s first 4G licence. The agreement required it to reach an agreement with the MNOs use their existing 2G and 3G network infrastructure until its own 4G network is ready. For their part, the MNOs had all refused to acquire the licence, citing inadequate spectrum allocation and high prices.

Did the MNOs just effectively veto TE’s 4G agreement? It is not entirely clear if TE’s failure to reach an agreement with the MNOs has a direct impact on the validity of its 4G contract. The company will not be able to begin operating immediately as an MVNO and provide 2G and 3G. More directly, the contract with NTRA stipulates that TE must begin providing 4G service within six months of signing. The contract was signed on 31 August.

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