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Egypt - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

This annual report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Egypt’s telecommunications market. Subjects covered include:

  • Key statistics;
  • Market and industry overviews;
  • Regulatory environment and structural reform;
  • Major players (fixed, mobile and broadband);
  • Infrastructure development;
  • Mobile voice and data markets, including 3G;
  • Average Revenue per User (ARPU) trends, fixed and mobile;
  • Internet development;
  • Broadband, including 3G mobile
  • Convergence (voice/data, fixed/wireless/mobile).


Egypt became one of the first countries in Africa to launch third generation (3G) mobile services, following the award of the country’s third mobile licence in 2006. The record price that was paid for the licence indicates the enormous potential in the Egyptian mobile market, and the penetration rate has more than tripled since then to around 80% in mid-2010. The network operators - Mobinil (backed by Orascom and France Telecom), Vodafone Egypt (VFE) and Etisalat - have launched a wide range of advanced services and are set to become dominant players in the Internet and broadband market as well, following the launch of 3.5G HSPA mobile broadband services and the acquisition of controlling stakes in leading data and Internet service providers.

Supported by forward-looking government programs, Egypt has become one of the leading Internet markets in Africa in terms of users, international bandwidth and services offered. The country is well connected by several international submarine fibre optic cables in combination with a national fibre-backbone infrastructure, and the international bandwidth market has been liberalised. The entire sector is highly competitive with more than 200 Internet and data service providers, which has led to some of the lowest broadband prices on the continent and ADSL2+ services with up to 24Mb/s being widely available. VoIP Internet telephony has been partly liberalised, and several companies are rolling out next-generation networks (NGN) to provide converged IP-based voice, data and entertainment services. The country’s first Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH) network has been launched in Cairo.

Egypt’s telecoms regulator, NTRA has announced it may consider offering a fourth mobile operator licence. Telecom Egypt (TE), the country’s incumbent telco and minority shareholder in VFE, has expressed an interest in the licence. TE operates the largest fixed-line network in Africa, is highly profitable and was partially privatised through an IPO in 2005. The sale of a second tranche of TE shares and a second national fixed-line licence both received strong interest from investors but were postponed in the wake of the global financial crisis. Instead, two regionally limited triple play licences for fixed-line voice, high-speed broadband and pay TV services were tendered in 2010.

Market highlights:Forecasts for fixed-line, mobile, Internet and broadband market to 2012 and 2015;Mobile penetration has broken the 75% barrier;Fixed-line subscriptions declined in 2009;Mobile ARPU continues to fall, but fixed-line ARPU is pointing up;Some of the lowest broadband and mobile tariffs in Africa;Two triple play licences for fixed-line voice, high-speed broadband and pay TV services tendered;Fourth mobile licence and second tranche of Telecom Egypt IPO expected in the near future.Market penetration rates in Egypt’s telecoms sector - Q1 2010

Market Penetration rate
Mobile 77%
Fixed 12%
Internet 22%
(Source: BuddeComm based on various sources)
For those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecommunications sector in Egypt, this report is essential reading and gives further information on:

Government policies affecting the telecoms industry;
Market liberalisation and regulatory issues;
Telecoms operators - privatisation, acquisitions, new licences and competition;
The largest fixed-line and mobile market in the region;
Internet and broadband development and growth;
Broadband pricing, fixed and wireless;Average Revenue per User (ARPU);
Mobile application and content developments. Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

1. Key Statistics
2. Overview of Egypt’s Telecom Market
3. Regulatory Environment
3.1 Background
3.2 Creation of a new regulatory framework
3.3 Telecommunications Master Plan
3.4 Legislative reform
3.5 Regulatory authority
3.5.1 National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority
3.5.2 Ministry of Communications & Information Technology
3.6 Telecom sector liberalisation in Egypt
3.6.1 International gateway licences
3.6.2 International submarine cable licence
3.6.3 Second fixed-line licence
3.6.4 Triple-play licences 2010
3.6.5 Fourth mobile licence
3.7 Privatisation of Telecom Egypt
3.8 Interconnection
3.9 Tariffs
4. Fixed Network Market
4.1 Overview
4.2 Fixed-line statistics
5. Major Fixed Network Operators
5.1 Telecom Egypt
5.1.1 Wholesale
5.2 Orascom Telecom
6. Telecommunications Infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 Public payphones
6.3 Wireless local loop (WLL)
6.4 Next Generation Networks (NGN)
6.5 FttH
6.6 International infrastructure
6.6.1 Terrestrial
6.6.2 Submarine fibre
6.6.3 Satellite
7. Internet Market
7.1 Overview
7.2 Internet statistics
7.3 Free Internet project
7.4 Affordable Personal Computer (APC) programs
7.5 E-schools
7.6 Public Internet access locations
7.6.1 Multipurpose Community Telecentres (MCTs)
7.7 ISP and data service providers in Egypt
7.7.1 Data service operators
7.7.2 Data centres
7.8 ISP market
7.8.1 EgyNet
7.8.2 LINKdotNET
7.8.3 Nile Online
7.8.4 TE Data
7.8.5 Other ISPs
7.9 Internet gateways
7.10 Cairo Regional Internet Exchange (CRIX)
7.11 VSAT networks
8. Broadband Market
8.1 Broadband initiative
8.2 DSL
8.3 Wireless broadband
8.3.1 WiFi
8.3.2 WiMAX
8.3.3 CDMA2000 1x EV-DO
8.4 Broadband via satellite
8.5 Broadband over Powerlines (BPL)
9. Convergence
9.1 VoIP telephony
9.2 Next Generation Networks (NGN)
9.3 IPTV
9.4 E-commerce
9.4.1 E-commerce initiatives
9.4.2 E-commerce legislation
9.5 Information Highway Project
9.6 E-government
9.7 E-learning
9.8 GLORIAD (Academic sector)
10. Mobile Communications
10.1 Overview of Egypt’s mobile market
10.1.1 Telecom Egypt’s mobile deal
10.1.2 Third mobile licence
10.1.3 Fourth mobile licence
10.1.4 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Tariffs
10.2.2 International gateways
10.2.3 Mobile Number Portability (MNP)
10.2.4 Registration of user details
10.2.5 GPS ban
10.3 Major mobile operators
10.3.1 Mobinil (ECMS)
10.3.2 Vodafone Egypt
10.3.3 Etisalat Misr
10.4 Mobile voice services
10.4.1 Prepaid services
10.4.2 Satellite mobile
10.4.3 Mobile VoIP
10.5 Mobile data services
10.5.1 SMS
10.5.2 MMS
10.5.3 WAP
10.5.4 GPRS and EDGE
10.5.5 Mobile TV
10.6 Third generation (3G)
10.6.1 Mobile broadband pricing
10.7 Mobile content and applications
10.7.1 Mobile banking
11. Forecasts
11.1 Forecasts - fixed-line services 2012; 2015
11.2 Forecasts - Internet users 2012; 2015
11.3 Forecasts - broadband subscribers 2012; 2015
11.4 Forecasts - mobile subscribers 2012; 2015
12. Glossary of Abbreviations
List of Tables and Exhibites
Table 1 - Country statistics Egypt - 2010
Table 2 - Fixed-line network statistics - March 2010
Table 3 - Internet provider statistics - 2010
Table 4 - Internet user statistics - February 2010
Table 5 - Broadband statistics - March 2010
Table 6 - Mobile statistics - March 2010
Table 7 - National telecommunications authorities
Table 8 - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1995 - 2011
Table 9 - Telecom Egypt key performance indicators - 2003 - 2009
Table 10 - Public payphones by operator - 2002 - 2009
Table 11 - Internet users and penetration rate - 1995; 1997; 1999 - 2011
Table 12 - DSL subscribers in Egypt, total vs TE - 2002 - 2010
Table 13 - Mobile subscribers, annual change and penetration - 1996; 1998; 2000 - 2011
Table 14 - Mobile subscribers by operator, technology and annual change - March 2010
Table 15 - Mobinil active subscribers - 1998; 2000 - 2010
Table 16 - Mobinil key performance indicators - 2002 - 2010
Table 17 - Mobinil blended monthly ARPU and AUPU - 2002 - 2010
Table 18 - Vodafone Egypt subscribers - 1998; 2000 - 2010
Table 19 - Vodafone Egypt blended monthly ARPU - 2003 - 2009
Table 20 - Forecast fixed-line and fixed-wireless subscribers - 2012; 2015
Table 21 - Forecast Internet users - 2012; 2015
Table 22 - Forecast - broadband subscribers - 2012; 2015
Table 23 - Forecast - mobile subscribers - 2012; 2015
Exhibit 1 - Major licences issued in Egypt - June 2010
Exhibit 3 - An analysis of Egypt’s third mobile licence valuation
Exhibit 4 - Vodafone Egypt’s public listing and delisting

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