Egypt became one of the first countries in Africa to launch third generation (3G) mobile services in 2007, following the award of the country's third mobile licence the previous year. The record price that was paid for the licence indicated the potential that is seen in the Egyptian mobile market, and the SIM card penetration rate has indeed multiplied since then to reach a peak of 117% in early 2013. However, the continued political crisis and civil unrest in the country are currently affecting the sector. The strongest growth is currently seen in mobile broadband services, which offers the network operators new revenue streams in an environment of falling average revenue per user (ARPU).
The country's telecom regulator is preparing to issue Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) licences, with fixed-line operator Telecom Egypt standing ready to enter the market. A fourth mobile network licence may also be tendered in the future.
This report outlines the major developments in the market, with relevant statistics and profiles of the companies involved, including 3G mobile broadband growth and ARPU trends for the major mobile operators. It also contains an in-depth analysis of the third mobile licence valuation and market forecasts to 2014 and 2017.
Political crisis affects the telecom sector; MVNO licences to become available, possibly fourth mobile network licence; New foreign ownership regulations may be introduced; New mobile banking services.