Telecom Egypt will be required to pay EGP2.5 billion (USD360 million) for the unified telecoms licence which will allow it to enter the wireless market under its own steam, Reuters reports. Atel Helmy, Egypt’s communications minister, confirmed the pricing for the concession at a news conference yesterday, though he noted that the final terms of the licence are still being formulated, adding: ‘All measures related to the unified licence will be finished by 30 June.’ It has, however, been confirmed that Telecom Egypt has been given a one-year deadline to sell off its 44.95% stake in local cellco Vodafone Egypt. Further, while the incumbent’s unified licence is not expected to include any frequencies, it has also been confirmed that Egypt plans to launch an auction for 4G-suitable spectrum in June 2016. Until then, it is expected that Telecom Egypt will offer its to-be-launched mobile services over the infrastructure belonging to the market’s existing players.
Meanwhile, it is understood that the nation’s three existing mobile network operators – Vodafone Egypt, MobiNil and Etisalat Misr – will each be required to pay EGP100 million for a unified licence under which they would be allowed to offer services over Telecom Egypt’s fixed infrastructure. An annual fee will also be payable for any company that acquires a unified licence, including the fixed line incumbent, though these prices have yet to be made public.