Telecom Egypt Asked to Pay $359 Million for Mobile License

Mergers, Acquisitions and Financial Results

Telecom Egypt will be asked to pay EGP2.5 billion (US$359 million) for the unified license that will permit it to offer mobile services the country's Telecommunications Minister Atef Helmy has announced.

Telecom Egypt's license will last just two years, as an MVNO. After that, it will be able to bid for a full mobile license when the government plans to auction 4G spectrum to all the telcos.

Telecom Egypt will also have to negotiate a sale, or some sort of resolution, as to what to do with its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt.

Vodafone has expressed an interest in buying the stake, but Telecom has countered by stating that it would like to increase its holding instead.

The Telecoms Minister also added that the country's three mobile networks will also be asked to pay EGP100 million each if they want the limited license to resell landline services over the Telecom Egypt network.

There are concerns that the landline reseller license is too restricted though. The main issue is that the landline access will be limited to just the older landline network which cannot carry reliable broadband internet services. Access to the fibre network is not included.

The issue of an international gateway was resolved though, with Vodafone and Mobinil being asked to pay EGP1.3 billion and EGP1.5 billion each respectively. The newest mobile network, Etisalat Misr already has an international gateway license, but will be asked to pay EGP8 per subscriber instead.