Saudi Telecom, Lebara KSA discussing 4G licence with NTRA

Egypt —

Representatives from Saudi Telecom and Lebara KSA are in Egypt this week to discuss the possibility of obtaining a 4G licence.

“Officials from Saudi Telecom are looking into investment opportunities in the telecommunication sector in Egypt, especially the 4G mobile services. They will complete their discussions with the Minister of Communication and the National Telecom Regulatory Authority today,” an official from NTRA told Reuters yesterday.

Egypt’s telecom minister will also hold talks today with the chairman of Lebara KSA, which was among several companies to express an interest in acquiring a 4G license, the official said.

Egypt is giving priority in obtaining 4G licenses to the mobile operators that already operate in the country of 90 million but has said it would launch an international tender should any of the operators decline the offer.

It offered 4G licences in June to the state’s fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt and the country’s three existing mobile service providers – Orange Egypt, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Egypt.

Only Telecom Egypt has accepted the 4G licensing terms so far. NRA revised its offer earlier this month to the mobile operators after they expressed concerns that the frequencies on offer were too limited.

NTRA has given operators until 22 September 2016 to respond on whether they will accept the new terms.

The Egyptian government intends to raise 22.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.5 bln) in total in license fees.