Egypt ready to go live with 4G rollout

By:
James Pearce
Published on:

Launch of 4G in Egypt had been beset with delays but government says it is ready to hand spectrum over to mobile operators

Egypt has said it 4G frequency licenses are ready to be handed over to telecoms companies looking to launch the service in the African country.

A communications minister told Reuters that the government is now just waiting for mobile operators to finish their preparations to launch 4G, after a long-delayed process.

"We are now ready to hand over 4G mobile frequencies to any company that is ready ... we are waiting for companies to finish preparations to receive the frequencies," communications minister Yasser al-Kadi said.

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.

However, Telecom Egypt is expected to launch its 4G service in July with the others set to follow once they receive the 4G spectrum off Egyptian authorities.