Egyptian regulator rejects claims of unified licence U-turn

02 June 2014 | Kavit Majithia

Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) has released a statement rejecting claims that plans for a unified telecoms licence have been withdrawn.

According to news sources in the country, the dossier for a unified telecoms licence in Egypt that would facilitate the entrance of Telecom Egypt into the wireless market had been withdrawn.

There has been opposition to the licence from rival companies, including Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Misr, with both companies threatening to withdraw investments in the country as a result.

There was speculation that the dossier had been given to the Prime Minister to revise, however MCIT maintains that the country’s communications minister Atef Helmy had been given a mandate to file the ruling in March.

As part of the mandate, a provision was included for the Prime Minister to form a committee – presided over by the communications minister – to encourage the development of infrastructure in the country to maintain the ICT sector.

The MCIT said in a statement that it had made clarifications for “all companies to positively participate in working groups to finalise technical details and measures of the preliminary phase of the unified licence”.

Telecom Egypt has sought to launch mobile services in recent years, and will compete with Vodafone Egypt, Mobinil and Etisalat Egypt.