Vodafone Egypt, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat land new cellular frequencies
Vodafone Egypt, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat have snapped up nearly USD 1.2 bn worth of new cellular frequencies. Vodafone Egypt bought two 20-MHz bands for USD 540 mn while TE bought two 10-MHz bands for USD 305 mn in an auction run in September by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), the regulator said in a statement. The NTRA also confirmed reports that it had accepted last month a bid by Etisalat Misr for 20 MHz of bandwidth, saying yesterday that it had sold the Emirati company two 10-MHz bands for USD 325 mn.
Mobile network operators have been demanding access to more bandwidth since 2017, when the NTRA first launched Egypt’s 4G network. The NTRA sold 5-15 MHz of spectrum for USD 1.1 bn and EGP 10 bn in the initial auction, which saw TE receive 15 MHz, Orange and Etisalat both purchasing 10 MHz, and Vodafone getting 5 MHz.
The news comes as the market waits to see whether Vodafone is going to be sold to Saudi’s STC or if Telecom Egypt will exercise its first right of refusal to snap up Big Red.