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Telecom Egypt to receive unified license

But incumbent given one year to sell Vodafone stake

Operators, Telecoms, Licensing, Telecom Egypt

Telecom Egypt will have to pay EGP2.5bn ($360m) for the unified telecoms licence that will allow it to enter the mobile market, online media reported over the weekend.

Government-controlled Telecom Egypt holds the monopoly in the country’s fixed-line services and owns a 44.95% stake in Vodafone Egypt, which it will have to sell within the year.

“All measures related to the unified licence will be finished by 30 June,” said Atel Helmy, Egypt’s communications minister, confirming the pricing for the concession at a news conference last week.

Telecom Egypt is unlikely to obtain any frequencies along with its unified licence, but authorities plan to launch a 4G auction in June 2016. Any mobile services launched by the incumbent in the interim will have to be through one of the country’s existing players, Vodafone Egypt, MobiNil and Etisalat Misr.

According to a report from Telegeography, the existing three mobile operators will be charged EGP100m for unified licences to use Telecom Egypt’s fixed-line infrastructure for service delivery. An annual fee for all unified licences will also apply, including for Telecom Egypt.