Egypt has the largest fixed-line market in Africa and the Arab region, with a profitable incumbent telco (Telecom Egypt) which was partially privatised through an IPO. However, the country's political crisis following the Arab Spring' revolution that started in 2011 has not left the telecom sector unaffected. Revenue has remained stable, ARPU has actually risen, but profit margins and capital expenditure are down due to a weaker local currency, especially since the beginning of 2013.
Previously abandoned plans for a second fixed-line licence and a fourth mobile licence may be revived in the near future. Telecom Egypt is planning to enter the mobile market as an MVNO, and in return the mobile operators may be allowed to enter the fixed-line market.
Efforts are underway to roll out next-generation networks, offering converged IP-based voice, data and entertainment services. Egypt is well connected by several international submarine fibre optic cables, a national fibre backbone, and some of Africa's first Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) deployments.
Political crisis affects the telecom sector; Telecom Egypt set to enter the mobile market as MVNO; Mobile operators may enter fixed-line market; FttH deployments; New international fibre optic cables.