Just a few days after reports suggested that Egypt’s unified license regime would go live in early September, according to Reuters the country’s government has approved the concessions. In announcing the development it has been revealed that fixed line incumbent Telecom Egypt (TE) has now been given until December 2015 to divest its 45% stake in local mobile network operator Vodafone Egypt. Under the original plans for the unified concessions TE had been directed to sell off its holdings in the cellco within a year of the licence activation. Meanwhile, it has also understood that the state has set up a committee including representatives from the Ministry of Communications & Information Technology (MCIT) and Ministry of Finance, and has tasked with it examining the best way for the fixed line operator to exit Vodafone Egypt.
As previously reported by CommsUpdate, in April 2014 it was revealed that TE would be required to pay EGP2.5 billion (USD360 million) for a unified telecoms licence which would allow it to enter the wireless market under its own steam. Meanwhile, it was also confirmed that mobile network operators Vodafone Egypt, MobiNil and Etisalat Misr would each be required to pay EGP100 million for a unified concession under which they would be allowed to offer services over TE’s fixed infrastructure.