Egypt - Telecoms Infrastructure, Operators, Regulations - Statistics and Analyses
Supported by a population of more than 90 million, Egypt has one of the largest telecom markets in North Africa. There is effective competition in most sectors, while one key development has been the recent award of unified licences to allow operators to offer services in the fixed-line and mobile sectors. The incumbent telco Telecom Egypt, still majority owned by the State, secured one of the licenses on offer in August 2016 which allows it to offer LTE services. The three mobile network operators initially failed to bid for the remaining three licenses, which would have enabled them to enter the fixed-line market and provide fully convergent service offerings. This prompted the government to consider opening the bidding process to international operators, but shortly afterwards these network operators secured licences after having renegotiated licence terms. Spectrum was assigned to these licensees in June 2017.
The country's political crisis following the Arab Spring' revolution which began in 2011 adversely affected the telecom sector. Although revenue has remained stable, profit margins and capital expenditure have fallen due to a weaker local currency, especially since the beginning of 2013, and international investors have shown considerable caution. The government in recent months has endeavoured to secure billions of dollars in funding to develop technology parks and to extend broadband availability, and in the process to create jobs in ICT and rekindle international investor interest.
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, while it also has an extensive national fibre backbone and some of Africa's most vibrant FttP deployments.
Telecom Egypt and Orange Egypt receive LTE licences and spectrum assignments; Orange Egypt, Vodafone, Telecom Egypt sign $2 billion infrastructure sharing deal; SEA-ME-WE 5 cable comes online to add additional international internet capacity; report update includes the regulator's market data to March 2017, telcos' operating and financial data to Q2 2017, recent market developments.