Cairo on 21/10/2012
The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), in collaboration with the Armed Forces and telecom police department and by virtue of judicial apprehension, determined the location of a company that has been assuming illegally the Global (AT&T) Company’s name in Nasr City (Cairo) and Miami (Alexandria).
That company, in its 2 premises, took the possession of and trafficked in unlicensed telecom equipment. In addition, it took control of a telecom network that by-passed international calls incoming from abroad to Egypt, and provided telecommunications services without obtaining prior license from NTRA.
Moreover, the company announced that it has been by-passing international calls through subscription and the download of VOIP software, knowing that the subscriber’s number is kept unknown and concealed to any authorities. Hence, this led to losses that amounted to hundreds of millions of Egyptian pounds per annum in addition to its impact on national security. The security forces, in collaboration with the members of a committee affiliated to the NTRA, raided the company premises in Nasr City and Miami where they seized documents and equipment that proved that the company used to by-pass the international calls. The company owner, Peter Yunnan Ibrahim Yusuf was arrested and referred to the prosecution to take legal action against him.
Dr. Amr Badawi, NTRA’s Executive President, has stated that committing such acts of by-passing international calls without passing by the licensed networks has been considered a breach of the provisions of Article 21 of the Telecom Regulation Law No. 10/ 2003, which stipulates that, “It is prohibited to establish or operate Telecommunication Networks, provide Telecommunication Services, by-pass international telephone calls or announce any of these without obtaining a license from the NTRA in accordance with the provisions of this Law and its executive resolutions.” The NTRA’s Executive President has added that Article 72 of the same Law has stipulated the penalty of such violating acts, as it states that “Whoever carries out any of the following acts without obtaining a license from the NTRA according to the provisions of this law shall be liable to prison for a period of not less than six months and not exceeding five years and a fine of not less than fifty thousand pounds and not exceeding five hundred thousand pounds, or either penalty: 1) Establishing or operating Telecommunication Networks; 2) Establishing Telecommunication Networks Infrastructure; 3) Providing Telecommunication Services; 4) By-passing international telephone calls by any means whatsoever. In addition, a ruling shall be issued confiscating all equipment, sets and connections used in perpetrating such crimes. A ruling shall also be passed obliging the convict to pay suitable compensation in the case prescribed in item 4 of this Article.”
Furthermore, Dr. Amr Badawi has pointed out that the NTRA is in the process of implementing a number of judicial apprehensions in the coming period in various governorates concurrently in order to eliminate such practices that are a breach of the provisions of the Telecom Regulation Law No. 10/ 2003. The NTRA calls upon the telecom services users to take heed of the necessity of ensuring the legality of the procedures taken to make international calls in addition to the necessity of making sure of the usage of licensed telecom devices lest they fall under the penalty of law. In addition, they should make sure of the authenticity and validity of the data of the mobile services subscribers to ensure the continuity of the provision of the service provided thereto.