21 November 2021
NTRA Approves Use of TDD 2600 MHz Frequency Band for Mobile Networks

The Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat has stated that the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has approved the operation of mobile networks at 40 MHz of spectrum in the Time Division Duplex (TDD) 2600 MHz frequency band from the total frequencies that Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat Misr and Telecom Egypt obtained the right to use, with investments estimated at $1.170 billion.

Talaat said that this step is part of the efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to improve the quality of telecommunications services. The introduction of the new frequencies will help improve the quality of voice and data services significantly over the coming period. This is achieved in line with the highest international standards of service quality and in a way that helps keep pace with the heightened demand for telecommunication services in the Egyptian market and support digital transformation and building Digital Egypt.

NTRA directed the three Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to take the necessary measures to leverage the new frequencies. MNOs were also directed to follow the technical procedures that will prepare the networks for the new frequencies, optimize the use of frequency spectrum, and overcome the hurdles that may affect the quality of services. The aim is to improve user experience by early next year as part the efforts made to expedite the construction of cellular towers, which helped increase the number of installed towers.

This was achieved after NTRA had completed all the regulatory procedures for vacating and allocating frequencies. This came as part of NTRA comprehensive plan to improve the quality of services rendered to citizens.

It is worth mentioning that NTRA monitors, on monthly basis, the quality of mobile phone services and sends the indicators to MNOs to take the necessary technical measures to improve the quality of service in the areas where poor service was detected. NTRA monitors MNOs plans, the outcomes of the technical measures they took and the impact of those measures on the quality of service and publishes the results in its Quality of Services (QoS) Benchmark Reports. If a poor quality of service continues to be detected in the same area, penalties and fines are imposed on MNOs for not complying with the established quality standards.

It is worth noting that NTRA had allocated 2x40 MHz frequency spectra in the TDD 2600 MHz band to MNOs in Egypt, along with setting new standards for the telecommunications services provided in the Egyptian market (voice and data) in line with international specifications and standards. Pursuant to that process, Vodafone Egypt acquired 40 MHz, Etisalat Misr 20 MHz and Telecom Egypt 20 MHz.

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