2007 will be watershed year for Egyptian communications

Egypt's telecom market is fairly liberalised, declares the Arab Advisors Group. By December 2006, the regulator (NTRA) had issued more than 200 telecom licences, three cellular licences, two payphone licences, two prepaid calling card licences, four VSAT licences and four international GMPCS operators.


The regulator had also issued four carrier Internet licences (Class A) and eight data service provider licences (Class B), in addition to more than 200 service-based ISP licences (Class C), as well as many other types.2007 will usher in the Etisalat-led third cellular operator, while international service liberalisation is slated to start in 2007 as well. The Arab Advisors Group expects the total number of cellular subscribes in Egypt to reach 34.8 million subscribers by 2010, with a penetration rate of 44%.

On December 31, 2005, Telecom Egypt's monopoly over international voice and data services ended. Until then, the whole PSTN market in Egypt was a monopoly market served by the government-owned Telecom Egypt. The incumbent operator was also the monopoly operator for international connectivity. Egypt's regulator, the NTRA, is slated to grant two new international services licences in 2007.

Anyone with an interest in this exciting period in Egyptian telecoms may wish to read a new report called the Egypt Communications Projections Report. It can be purchased from the Arab Advisors Group for US$950. The 105-page report, which has 91 detailed charts and figures, provides a detailed analysis of the Egyptian fixed and cellular markets and profiles the major players in the country. The report includes five-year historical analysis and also five-year projections on fixed and cellular uptake, revenues and CAPEX. The report provides, moreover, a detailed and comprehensive picture on the fixed and cellular markets' strategies and regulations (the investment can also count towards attending the Arab Advisors fourth annual Media and Telecoms Convergence Conference on June 4-5 2007).

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