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Tuesday, 20 December 2016

TE maneuvering continues as NTRA grants it more time

NTRA gives TE room for maneuver in talks with other network operators: Telecom Egypt (TE) continues to maneuver for advantage after the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) gave it breathing room by extending the deadline for TE to sign agreements with the three mobile network operators (MNOs) to use their existing 2G and 3G network infrastructure until it completes its own 4G network. The NTRA’s initial deadline, issued after Telecom Egypt acquired its license to offer 4G mobile services, has been extended for two more months. Negotiations between TE and the MNOs reportedly center around technical aspects of the agreement, liability for service quality and maintenance costs. CEO Tamer Gadalla said TE is not bound to sign agreements with all three operators and will launch 4G services after inking a pact with any one of them. He also said TE objects to having the MNOs launch 4G services before his company, saying NTRA should guarantee that none of the competitors gets a first mover advantage.

In other TE news, the state monopoly won’t make a decision on the fate of its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt until the former holds a general assembly in March, Al Mal reports, citing an unnamed source from TE. As we noted last month, CIT Minister Yasser El Kady had previously said one of the possible scenarios to end the “conflict of interest crisis” (which he downplayed in a recent interview) is having TE transfer its Vodafone stake to its subsidiary, TE Holding.

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