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Vodafone gets Egypt 3G deal

Egypt's telecom regulator has awarded Vodafone Egypt a licence to provide 3G services in Egypt.

Egypt's telecom regulator has awarded Vodafone Egypt a licence to provide 3G services in Egypt.

The operator paid US$586million for the licence in addition to agreeing to pay 2.4% of its annual revenues to the government.

The licence, which lasts 15 years, will make Vodafone Egypt the second company in Egypt to provide mobile third generation services.

However, in an unusual step, the National Telecom Regulatory Agency (NTRA) has stipulated that Vodafone Egypt can only start providing mobile third generation services after the launch of the third mobile operator in Egypt, Etisalat.

Etisalat, which won Egypt's third GSM licence last July, is expected to launch its operations in Egypt by the end of February. Under the conditions of its licence, it is expected to offer mobile services under the 011 prefix as well as being able to offer 3G services throughout the country.

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