Orange, Vodafone and Etisalat launch 4G services in Egypt

Orange, Vodafone and Etisalat have all launched 4G services in Egypt after months of delays and setbacks because of a dispute with regulators over licence terms.

Orange Egypt has launched the service under the slogan “4G for everyone” after it received access to its frequencies from the government, having agreed to terms in October of last year. It paid $484 million for its license.

Vodafone Egypt has also launched its 4G proposition, having paid $335 million for 5MHz of spectrum last year. It announced the launch across numerous Egyptian cities on a post on its website.

Etisalat Misr's service also launched commercially, following testing of the service. In the auction, it received 10MHz of 4G spectrum for $535.5m, reports at the time claimed. 

The launch of 4G in Egypt had been beset with delays as operators refused to meet a number of the NTRA’s license terms, which included paying half of the value of the spectrum in US dollars. 

Telecom Egypt was the first to secure a 4G license in July 2016, but the country’s three foreign-owned operators – Etisalat, Orange and Vodafone – all claimed there was inadequate spectrum on offer. In October, the NTRA announced it had reached agreements on the terms for 4G licenses with all interested operators.

Telecom Egypt, which received its licence earlier, has also launched 4G, but according to reports from Egypt.

GSMA director general Mats Granryd said back in January that overcoming the issues around 4G was important for Egypt and its operators.

“The GSMA is very pleased with the successful launch of 4G services in Egypt and we stand ready to engage with all stakeholders in Egypt to ensure continued success and growth of the Egyptian mobile economy. Having lived and worked in Egypt for several years, I feel confident that the launch of 4G will prove to be a key milestone for the country,” commented Granryd.

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