Egypt’s MNOs receive LTE spectrum assignments

Supported by a population of more than 90 million, Egypt has one of the largest telecom markets in North Africa. There is effective competition in most sectors, while one key development has been the recent award of unified licences to allow operators to offer services in the fixed-line and mobile sectors. The incumbent telco Telecom Egypt, still majority owned by the State, secured one of the licenses on offer in August 2016 which allows it to offer LTE services. The three mobile network operators, after initially failing to bid for the remaining three licenses, secured them in early 2017 and received spectrum assignments in June 2017. The operators are able to offer ‘virtual’ fixed-line services hosted by telecom Egypt’s infrastructure.

The country’s political crisis following the ‘Arab Spring’ revolution which began in 2011 adversely affected the telecom sector. Although revenue has remained stable, profit margins and capital expenditure have fallen due to a weaker local currency, especially since the beginning of 2013, and international investors have shown considerable caution. The government in recent months has endeavoured to secure billions of dollars in funding to develop technology parks and to extend broadband availability, and in the process to create jobs in ICT and rekindle international investor interest.

Efforts are underway to roll out next-generation networks, offering converged IP-based voice, data and entertainment services. Egypt is well connected by several international submarine fibre optic cables, while it also has an extensive national fibre backbone and some of Africa’s most vibrant FttP deployments. The recent connections to the MENA and SE-ME-WE 5 cables have significantly improved international bandwidth, and though this has helped reduce end-user access prices the country still has among the slowest internet data rates globally.

Egypt has one of the largest mobile telecom markets in Africa, with effective competition and a penetration rate above 111%. Although the country was among the first countries in the region to launch 3G mobile services, the development of LTE services has suffered from delays in issuing spectrum.

This report outlines the major developments in the Egyptian telecom sector, including updated statistics and profiles of the main operators as well as a range of regulatory developments. It also covers the mobile market, assessing measures related to spectrum awards and licensing, as well as emerging technologies and services including mobile TV and m-banking. In addition the report analyses the broadband sector, concentrating on DSL and the nascent FttP market as well as on wireless broadband.

For detailed information, table of contents and pricing see: Egypt – Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Digital Media – Statistics and Analyses

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