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Ericsson eyes Egypt fixed-line licence

Telecom equipment maker applies for information needed to bid in auction, newspaper reports.

Telecom equipment maker Ericsson and two Gulf Arab telecom firms have applied for the information needed to bid for Egypt's second fixed-line telecom licence, a newspaper reported on Wednesday.

The new applications bring to 10 the number of companies who have expressed interest in the licence, which the most populous Arab country has said it will auction on June 19.

Egyptian daily Al Alam al-Youm did not say where it got the information. Officials at Egypt's National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority could not immediately confirm the report.

Companies planning to bid would need to submit an auction guarantee of 10 million Egyptian pounds ($1.86 million) in addition to $10,000 to buy the booklet of conditions, the regulatory authority has said.

Seven other companies have already expressed interest, including France Telecom, Orascom Telecom, Egypt's Alkan, Egypt's Giza Systems, Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat, Saudi's Atheeb group, and Alcatel-Lucent. ($1 = 5.38 Egyptian pounds) (Reuters)

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