Framework of Interconnection

Interconnection and Wholesale Services Policy

Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) and the Service Level Agreement (SLA)

In the last few years, the telecommunications industry in Egypt has undergone a number of significant changes. These were represented in the high growth rates attained in terms of revenues and subscribers in the mobile and the internet markets, whereas the fixed line segment experienced a slower growth path.

Within the framework of the establishment of an appropriate regulatory environment and consolidation of competition in ICT sector, NTRA finished the review process of the Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) and the Service Level Agreement (SLA) provided by Telecom Egypt to other licensees. It enables Telecom Egypt to provide interconnection and infrastructure leasing services required for the provision of the services (provided by those operators) to the end user in a transparent and non-discriminatory basis.

In line with NTRA’s keenness to preserve transparency and in order to establish and effectuate the principle of all stakeholders’ involvement in regulatory decision making, both Reference Interconnection Offer (RIO) and the Service Level Agreement (SLA) are currently available to all licensed operators.

Interconnection and Wholesale Services Agreements Guidelines

In accordance with Telecom Law No. 10/ 2003, and the ministerial decree No. 165 for the year 2003, a general framework is issued by NTRA for the interconnection agreements between the telecom operators and service providers, whereby each licensee shall sign a bilateral interconnection agreements with any other licensee using its network. These interconnection agreements should be approved by NTRA, and should include the following:

First: Regulatory Aspects

  • Validity period of the agreement and the date of beginning the agreement.
  • Interconnection parties’ commitment to publicize the interconnection agreements, terms and conditions.
  • The interconnection agreement shall not comprise monopolistic terms between the parties or terms that prevent the entry of other companies in similar interconnection agreements.
  • The interconnection agreement shall not comprise discriminatory terms restricting specific services provided to other parties.
  • Procedures that guarantee protection of the licensee’ network from interferences or any harmful consequences of Interconnection.
  • Abiding by the intellectual property rights of both parties.
  • The interconnecting parties shall be notified of any plans, extensions, or modifications to the network, which are expected to affect the services, or lead to a change in the terms of interconnection agreement.
  • Modifications to the terms of the interconnection agreement, allowing the addition of new services or improvement of existing services in one or more of the interconnected networks, shall be authenticated by NTRA.

Second: Technical Aspects

Specifications of technical aspects of the agreement include and are not restricted to:

  • Determining the type of services subject of the interconnection agreement including local, international and value added services for the following:
    • Fixed networks.
    • Mobile networks.
    • Data networks.
  • Determining each parties’ responsibilities in implementation of the interconnection agreements.
  • Determining the location of the local and international interconnection points.
  • Interconnection standards.
  • Network management methodologies.
  • The capacity required for interconnection.
  • Fault recovery methods, reporting procedures, and the means of communication between the operation and maintenance centers.
  • Abiding by service quality standards for the interconnection services by defining a (Service Level Agreement SLA).
  • Notification of any plans, additions, or changes in the network of the licensee, which are expected to affect the services they provide or lead to a change in the terms of the interconnection agreement.
  • Steps guaranteeing the protection of the licensee’s network from the interferences or harmful consequences of interconnection and the procedures to be followed in case of failure resulting from interconnection.

Third: Economic Aspects

  • Determining the interconnection charges, the terms of payment, and the billing procedures.
  • Interconnection charges should be cost-based with a reasonable profit margin. Cost models should be approved by NTRA.
  • Stating the cost calculation structures and methodologies of the interconnection services included in the agreement.
  • The interconnection termination rate for mobile services is 11 Piaster per min.