arabia.com offers free Internet access in Egypt

arabia.com offers a virtual ISP service in Egypt as the country's free Internet model continues to cause consolidation in the local internet market.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  August 7, 2002

Egypt’s free Internet model has received a mixed reception. While the nine class ‘A’ and ‘B’ ISPs have gone from strength to strength under the model, a number of smaller ISPs have collapsed and others have merged in an attempt to stay afloat.

One result of this market consolidation is the emergence of the virtual ISP — a company that takes lines and numbers from the class ‘A’ and ‘B’ ISPs and promotes them with their own access code numbers. Earlier in the year, Shanin Shanin, an analyst at Arab Advisors Group, predicted that the number of virtual ISPs operating in Egypt would reach 145 in 2004.

“Arab Advisors Group believes that the free Internet model will eventually increase the number of Internet users in the country and improve the revenues of Egyptian ISPs. However, by 2004 the number of ISPs will come down to nine and the number of virtual ISPs will increase to 145,” he said.

The latest company to join this hoard of virtual ISPs is arabia.com. By partnering with EgyNet, the portal player will offer Egyptian users free Internet access. All would be users need do is download the company’s the arabia.com Internet dialer and dial the designated 0777 7778 number.

Ramzi Zeine, chief executive officer of arabia.com, explains the decision to offer a virtual ISP service was inspired by the company’s desire to offer a full service to its Egyptian users.

“Egypt continues to be a rapidly growing market for us and we are constantly looking at new ways to develop in this country. With over 100,000 registered arabia.com users in Egypt we felt it was important to offer our customers in the region the option of this free service”, he says.

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