- The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has granted Egypt's state-owned telco, Telecom Egypt, a 15-year licence for $150 million to operate 5G. Consequently, Telecom Egypt becomes the first mobile operator to secure a 5G licence in the country.
- However, the 15-year licence will not be automatically renewed at the end of the agreement, and it provides no additional benefits.
- This news comes two months after Egypt's government announced plans to grant 5G licences.
The government-owned telco has been providing retail telecommunication services in the country for over 50 years. For the first nine months of 2023, Telecom Egypt reported a 48% net profit.
Now that it has obtained a 5G network licence, Telecom Egypt can begin to roll out these high-capacity, high-speed networks.
Compared to the 4G network licenced by NTRA in 2016, fifth-generation mobile communication network services (5G) are high-end networks with faster download and data speeds and increased network capacity.
According to Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat, Telecom Egypt will benefit from running a 5G network by supporting connectivity, enabling control over more devices, and supporting Egypt's digital transformation efforts, in which the company invested EGP 50 billion in 2022.
The Egyptian telco announced a few days before the licence approval that it had partnered with a telecom wholesale company, Zain Omantel International Company (ZOI), to develop new digital infrastructure and establish a data transfer route connecting Europe, the Mediterranean Sea, and the Arabian Gulf. This initiative would be installed via land and sea pathways.
Meanwhile, Telecom Egypt announced a 30% increase in the price of its landline Internet plans, effective January 5th. According to a report, the price hikes follow earlier decisions by telecommunication companies in the country to raise prices for mobile recharge plans.
Another report stated that the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority could approve the decision to raise service prices to encourage operators to obtain 5G licences.
Since 2021, Egypt has been working on 5G networks and artificial intelligence applications, according to the cabinet's Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC).
What's more, a survey conducted in 2023 shows that 41% of South Africa's population had access to 5G networks, with 27 operators launching 5G services across 16 African markets. The top ten African 5G markets by 2030 are expected to be Morocco, Algeria, South Africa, Egypt, Nigeria, Sudan, Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, and Ethiopia.
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