Egypt has been at the forefront of developments in mobile technology in Africa, being among the first countries in the region to launch third generation (3G) mobile services, in 2007. There is effective competition between the MNOs Etisalat Misr, Vodafone Egypt and Mobinil. The record price paid for the third licence in 2006 was an indication of the potential seen in the Egyptian mobile market. SIM card penetration has increased rapidly since then, approaching 118% by the end of 2015. The government in late 2014 set in train the process to provide a unified telecom licence which would enable the incumbent Telecom Egypt to launch mobile services. The company would then not have to rely on an MVNO model to provide mobile voice and data services, and it has looked at selling its 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt. As part of the unified license terms, MNOs would be able to will gain access to Telecom Egypt’s fixed-line infrastructure, and so begin to develop bundled services including fixed-voice and broadband. The strongest growth is currently in mobile broadband, which offers the network operators new revenue streams in an environment of falling ARPU. Licences to provide services based on LTE technologies are expected to be awarded in 2016.
Despite the good prospects for the sector, the political crisis and civil unrest in the country have been detrimental, given that investment has fallen and the economy has suffered from the collapse of the tourism sector.
This report outlines the major developments in the market, with relevant statistics and profiles of the companies involved, including 3G mobile broadband growth and ARPU trends for the major mobile operators. It also contains an in-depth analysis of the third mobile licence valuation and market forecasts.
Vodafone sees customers losses to end-2015; Mobinil counts the cost of rebranding as Orange; Ericsson completes Evolved Packet Core (EPC) system for Mobinil; Telecom Egypt expected to receive mobile licence in mid-2016; political crisis continues to affects the telecom sector; MVNO licences issued as part of new unified licensing regime; LTE spectrum auction planned for 2016, Etisalat Misr tries again for an IPO, hoping to raise $500 million; report updates include the regulator’s market updates to July 2015, telcos’ operating data to Q4 2015, recent market developments.
Companies mentioned in this report:
Mobinil (ECMS - France Telecom/Orange, Orascom/ Global Telecom Holding); Vodafone Egypt; Etisalat Misr; Telecom Egypt; Thuraya; Iridium; Inmarsat; Alkan Communications; EgyptSat; MobiServe; Ericsson; Nokia-Siemens, Alcatel-Lucent; Huawei Technologies.