Egypt’s leading mobile operator by subscribers, MobiNil, has announced that it might accept a drop in interconnection rates, but that levels suggested by the regulator were ‘not reasonable’, Reuters is reporting. MobiNil has argued that changes to interconnection rates between fixed line incumbent Telecom Egypt (TE) and itself should be part of a broader package of changes. Alex Shalaby, chairman of MobiNil, noted, ‘We are in very serious discussions and I daresay disagreements on points of view with the regulator on a drop they are suggesting for interconnection between the fixed and the mobile networks’, and it is understood that the cellco is considering legal action over the ruling. The issue has arisen following a decision in favour of TE by the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) that changed interconnect prices between fixed and mobile networks. According to the report, Mr Shalaby revealed that TE had requested that MobiNil drop its interconnection rates to below EGP0.15 (USD0.03) for termination on MobiNil’s network, and EGP0.10 to terminate on the fixed line network. Indications from MobiNil are that it would be willing to accept reductions in the interconnection rates, but only as part of a package including measures in the leased line sector, which the cellco has argued is priced higher than its international counterparts.
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