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Orange Egypt signs 4G licence deal worth $484m

Staff Writer | October 15, 2016
Orange Egypt signed a licence deal paying $484 million to operate fourth-generation mobile phone services after the government agreed to offer it additional spectrum.
Orange Egypt
Communications   U.S. dollars are scarce in Egypt
Egypt is selling four 4G licences as part of a long-awaited plan to reform the telecoms sector and to raise money for stretched government finances.

The country's three existing mobile phone operators - Orange, Vodafone and Etisalat - initially all turned down the 4G licences saying the amount of spectrum on offer was not sufficient to allow them to offer the service efficiently.

The regulator then announced that operators which paid for the licence entirely in dollars would be given priority in buying additional spectrum. U.S. dollars are scarce in Egypt due to a long-running economic crisis.

Orange Egypt, a subsidiary of French telecoms group Orange, said early on Thursday it wished to "renegotiate acquisition of a 4G license in light of new terms."

The regulator said the company had until October 23 to submit a formal offer but the chief executive of Orange Egypt signed a $484 mln deal on Thursday, receiving 10 megaherz of spectrum instead of the 7.5 initially on offer.

The head of Egypt's telecom regulator said Orange would pay half the licence fee in Egyptian pounds and had also acquired a licence to offer fixed line services for a further $11 million.