Egypt - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses
Egypt’s unified licences leading to cross-platform access deals
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 secured one of the licenses in August 2016. 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.
Egypt has one of the largest mobile telecom markets in Africa, with effective competition and a penetration rate of about 105%. Although the country was among the first countries in the region to launch 3G mobile services, the development of LTE services was delayed to late 2017.
The internet market is relatively developed in terms of the number of users and the availability of services. The country’s geographical position has enabled it to capitalise on the numerous cables which cross through it, interconnecting various parts of Europe with the Middle East and Asia. Egypt also has considerable domestic fibre infrastructure which can tap into cables at several points. The MENA subsea cable came into commercial use in late 2015, augmenting the country’s considerable international bandwidth.
Growth in the number of broadband subscribers slowed briefly at the start of the country’s political crisis in 2011 and continuing social and political disturbances since then have seen some measures imposed to restrict access to content and services.
The extensive bandwidth, together with considerable market competition, has meant that Egypt offers some of the lowest prices for DSL services on the continent. The four mobile network operators also offer mobile internet based on 3G and LTE technologies.
This report outlines the major developments in the Egyptian telecom sector, including updated statistics and profiles of the operators, an assessment of market structures and regulatory measures related to spectrum awards and licensing, as well as emerging mobile and fixed-line technologies and services.
Telecom Egypt to provide Etisalat Misr with virtual fixed voice services;
Telecom Egypt and Liquid Telecom agree to expedite the roll out of fibre networks across North Africa;
Orange Egypt, Vodafone, Telecom Egypt sign $2 billion infrastructure sharing deal;
SEA-ME-WE 5 cable comes online to add additional international internet capacity;
Telecom Egypt signs a three-year wholesale agreement with Vodafone Egypt;
Vodafone Egypt trials fixed-line services;
Central Bank of Egypt approves new regulations to encourage m-payment services;
Orange Egypt contracts NEC Corporation to provide microwave radio system for LTE traffic;
Vodafone Egypt sees subscriber decline into 2018;
MVNO licences issued as part of new unified licensing regime;
Telecom Egypt extends the reach of its fibre networks;
Continuing strong growth of DSL and mobile broadband;
Economic recovery shown in e-commerce market growth;
Report updates include the regulator’s market updates to March 2018, telcos’ operating data to Q2 2018, recent market developments
Companies mentioned in this report:
Orange Egypt (Mobinil, ECMS, Orascom Telecom, Global Telecom Holding), Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat Misr, Telecom Egypt, Thuraya, Iridium, Inmarsat, Alkan Communications, EgyptSat, MobiServe, Ericsson, Nokia Networks, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei Technologies, TE Data, EgyNet, LINKdotNET, Nile Online, Yalla, Equant, Noor, Vodafone Data (Raya Telecom), Batelco, Soficom, Egypt Network, Internet Egypt, MenaNet, MenaSat, iSkySat, StormSat Egypt, PLC International, JumpTV, Menatel, NilePhone, Raya Telecom, Zhone Technologies, NEC, Nortel Networks, Qualcomm, ZTE.