Etisalat, Orange and Vodafone settle $120m Egyptian interconnect dispute
The Egyptian operations of Etisalat, Orange and Vodafone have settled a 10-year dispute over the cost of interconnecting calls.
Amr Talaat, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, attended the signing of a settlement between the three, negotiated with the regulator, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA).
The companies used different ways of calculating prices, leading to disputes over sums that the NTRA put at more than two billion Egyptian pounds ($120 million at current rates).
The NTRA said: “Such disputes have had a negative impact on the stability and clarity of relations between operators in the Egyptian ICT sector, thus representing an obstacle for foreign investors when infusing new investments that can be harnessed to improve the quality of telecommunication services provided to citizens.”
The agreement was signed by Mustafa Abdel-Wahed (pictured), acting executive president of NTRA, with Orange Egypt CEO Yasser Shaker, Vodafone Egypt CEO Alexander Froman, and Etisalat Misr CEO Hazem Metwally.
The NTRA said Hossam El-Gamal, the associate minister for networks and ICT infrastructure “held intense meetings over the past months with the disputing parties to reach a compromise and resolve the disputes to satisfy all parties”. It added: “The meetings resulted in an agreement between the parties to sign settlement agreements, as a result of which judicial disputes were ended.”
Talaat said: “The agreements will have a positive impact on the investment landscape in the sector, thus reflecting on the companies’ abilities to develop the services provided to citizens.”