GSMA celebrates 4G launch in Egypt
11 January 2017 | James Pearce
The GSMA has welcomed the introduction of 4G mobile connectivity in Egypt after years of wrangling between the government and operators in the African country.
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. Orange paid $484 million, while Etisalat paid $535.5 million. Vodafone Egypt, which is part-owned by Telecom Egypt, paid $335 million.
In a recent visit to the country, GSMA director general Mats Granryd said operators there supported government plans to release more spectrum later this year.
“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.