Orange Egypt turns down Telecom Regulator 4G license terms

Paris, FRANCE:  Picture taken 25 August 2005 shows a logo of French mobile telecommunications operator Orange at the headquarters of France Telecom, the state-controlled parent company of Orange.  AFP  PHOTO  DAMIEN MEYER  (Photo credit should read DAMIEN MEYER/AFP/Getty Images)

Orange Egypt has decided not to apply for a 4G service licence due to terms and conditions of the proposed licence.

Although the telecom operator was earlier interested in investing in Egypt and in the 4G technology, they said in a statement that the quantity of spectrum currently availed does not allow it to launch a 4G service with the required level of quality according to international standards.

Orange Egypt for Telecommunications has decided not to apply for the license to offer 4G in light of the current terms and conditions,” the company said in a statement via the stock exchange.

The deadline for the Egyptian operators to apply for the licence was 22 September. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) set the prices for the 4G frequencies at EGP 3.5 billion for Vodafone and Orange, EGP 4.5 billion for Etisalat Misr, and EGP 5.5 billion for Telecom Egypt (TE). The authority decided that 50 percent of the value should be paid in US dollars. Although Egypt gave domestic mobile operators the priority, the government said that it will launch an international tender in case they declined.

Vodafone and Etisalat are also thought to be also considering rejecting the terms but Telecom Egypt has already accepted the conditions to the licence in order to enter the mobile market for the first time.

Orange said it has invested EGP 32 billion in Egypt and is willing to continue to invest in country. The operator has launched 4G services in 16 countries. It thanked the NTRA for the great effort they have made to provide the regulatory framework for the 4G licence.

Source: Telecompaper

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