The Board of Directors of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), chaired by HE Eng. Hany Mahmoud, the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, convened yesterday. NTRA’s BoD discussed in this meeting a number of topics, most importantly those related to the Unified Communications License and the tender launch mechanism and implementation.
Dr. Amr Badawi, NTRA’s Executive President, has pointed out that the BoD issued a decision regarding the general framework of the Egyptian telecom sector restructuring. This restructuring will take place on several phases in order to award eventually the integrated unified telecom license to the telecom companies operating in the local market.
In the first phase, Telecom Egypt will be granted the right to provide the mobile services as per a mobile service license that will be awarded thereto without being awarded frequencies. Hence, Telecom Egypt will start its provision of the mobile services through mobile service providers operating in the market by reselling their provided services. This phase will last till the NTRA commences its provision of more frequencies in the second phase. By then, the mobile services providers will be entitled to bid for the license.
Dr. Badawi has stated that, as per this framework, the mobile service operators will have the right to obtain a fixed services license by using the Telecom Egypt’s infrastructure (Infrastructure Sharing). This agreement will be implemented on several phases till the telecom companies are awarded the integrated unified license.
As for the international telecom services, Dr. Amr Badawi have said that the mobile service operators have the right now to bid for these services as per the current rates. These services will be priced, and this pricing will be applied after two years based on the expected changes that will take place in the international telecom market.
Moreover, concerning the value of the unified license, the NTRA will consult experts through outsourcing on setting the license fees. In addition, the NTRA will seek those experts expertise and consultation concerning the evaluation of the unified license tenders that will be launched (of the mobile, fixed or international telecom services) so that these licenses be eligible and suitable for all parties, without detriment to the rights of the State and without prejudice to the interests of the operators.
In fact, the launch and implementation of the new framework of the telecom sector is compatible with the global occurrences, most importantly, the decreasing demand of the telecom services users on the usage of fixed telecom services, the increasing demand on the usage of the mobile services. These measures aim to preserve the positive framework of free competition of the Egyptian telecom market, which serves the interests of the telecom services subscribers. It is worth mentioning that it is expected that the implementation of Phase I of the Telecom Sector Restructuring Framework will commence by the end of the first half of 2013.