26 December 2012
NTRA Starts the Process of the Unified Telecom Licenses Award

Source: NTRA

The Board of Directors of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA), chaired by Mr. Hany Mahmoud, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, convened yesterday.

A number of topics were discussed during the meeting, most importantly those related to the Unified Communications License and the tender launch mechanism and implementation.

Regarding the general framework of the Egyptian telecom sector restructuring, the Board of Directors decided that this restructuring is to take place on several phases in order to award eventually the integrated unified telecom license to the telecom companies operating in the local market.

In the first phase, Telecom Egypt is to provide the mobile services according to an awarded mobile service license without being awarded frequencies.

Hence, Telecom Egypt is to provide mobile services through mobile service providers operating in the market by reselling their services. This phase lasts till NTRA commences the provision of more frequencies in the second phase. By then, the mobile services providers will be entitled to bid for the license.

Within this framework, the mobile service operators are to obtain a fixed services license by using the Telecom Egypt’s infrastructure (Infrastructure Sharing). This agreement is to be implemented on several phases till the telecom companies are awarded the integrated unified license.

As for the international telecom services, the mobile service operators have the right now to bid for these services as per the current rates. These services are priced. This pricing is to be applied after two years based on the expected changes taking place in the international telecom market.

The NTRA will consult experts through outsourcing on setting the license fees. Experts are to evaluate the unified license tenders (of the mobile, fixed or international telecom services) without detriment to the rights of the State or prejudice to the interests of the operators.

The new framework of the telecom sector is compatible with the global occurrences, most importantly; the decreasing demand of the telecom services users on the usage of fixed telecom services, the increasing demand on the usage of the mobile services.

These measures aim to preserve the positive framework of free competition of the Egyptian telecom market, which serves the interests of the telecom services subscribers. It is expected that the implementation of Phase I of the Telecom Sector Restructuring Framework will commence by the end of the first half of 2013.

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