State-owned monopoly fixed line provider Telecom Egypt (TE) is reportedly seeking to resolve longstanding disputes with the nation’s mobile network operators with a view to paving the way for its own entry into the wireless sector.
According to Reuters, which cites comments made by TE’s new chief executive Osama Yassin, the company is, however, keen to retain its 45% stake in one of Egypt’s existing cellcos, Vodafone Egypt, despite the government having previously said this would be a requirement prior to the fixed line incumbent being licensed for mobile services. On its plans to make a foray into the cellular sector, Mr Yassin said: ‘We think it is our right to have a mobile license with the 4G frequency … and we hope that we can preserve in one way or another our 45% stake in Vodafone.’
Meanwhile, with regards to settling existing issues, the new CEO added: ‘I came and took an endorsement from the board to end ongoing problems with internet and mobile companies, so this is a new direction that should improve the performance of the telecom market generally.’ To that end, he suggested that a dispute over interconnection fees could soon be settled, following years of litigation over the matter. In addition, TE is reportedly considering possible price reductions for the rental of its fixed infrastructure to ISPs before the end of this year.