Telecom Egypt aims for MVNO licence

Telco hopes data services to offset its continual decline in fixed customer base.

Tags: Etisalat MisrMobinilTelecom EgyptUnited Arab EmiratesVodafone Egypt
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Telecom Egypt aims for MVNO licence State-owned Telecom Egypt looks to introduce the first MVNO in the country by 2011 end. (Getty Images)
By  Nithyasree Trivikram Published  July 7, 2011

Egyptian fixed line incumbent Telecom Egypt is still keen to move into mobile phone services space. "The company aims to secure a mobile virtual network licence towards the end of the year," said Akil Beshir, chairman of Telecom Egypt as reported by Reuters.

He said that Telecom Egypt is in talks with the national telecoms regulator over an MVNO licence. "Many people do not expect this government to take a major decision like introducing an MVNO, but we keep working on it," he added.

The operator is trying to offset the drop in its fixed line customer base through an increased uptake of mobile data services. Beshir said that his goal was to transform the 80% state-owned company into a "total telecom service provider" and that meant pushing the operator into mobile services.

The operator already owns a 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt, and its attempt to buy the balance 55% stake did not materialise as both the telcos could not agree on a price. Beshir said that there were no talks over a buyout for the time being. "So, MVNO would be a good way of leveraging the partnership," he added.

This indicates that Vodafone could also join Telecom Egypt in securing the MVNO if Vodafone feels that the service is not competing directly with its own.

Vodafone Egypt, Mobinil and Etisalat Misr are the mobile operators offering services in the Egyptian market.

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