Egypt has raised $1.17 billion in the award of new spectrum licenses to the three mobile operators. Vodafone Egypt, Telecom Egypt and Etisalat Misr all acquired new ten-year licenses for the 2.6 GHz band.
Vodafone Group announced that its Egyptian unit has been awarded a 40MHz block of 2.6GHz TTD spectrum by the NTRA. In a press release regarding the matter, the company confirmed that Vodafone Egypt has been awarded the new frequencies under a ten-year license, valid through to 2030, for an initial payment of USD270 million to be paid upon receipt of spectrum. Two further payments – each of USD135 million – are due in 2021 and 2022, respectively.
According to Vodafone Group, the new frequencies will enable Vodafone Egypt to ‘significantly expand network capacity to meet growing demand for reliable, high quality voice and data services’.
Telecom Egypt said that the NTRA accepted its financial and technical offer for additional spectrum submitted on 17 September. The company is expected to receive 20 MHz of spectrum in the 2,600 MHz band, using TDD technology with a right of use of ten years for USD 305 million, of which 50 percent will be paid in US dollars upon signing the contracts.
The operator said 25 percent of the total value will be paid in US dollars or its equivalent in Egyptian pounds according to the rate announced by the CBE at the time of payment no later than one year after signing the contracts. The other 25 percent will be paid within two years.
The NTRA said the remaining 2x10 MHz in the 2,600 MHz band was won by Etisalat Misr for USD 325 million.
The regulator noted that this was the first time it used TDD spectrum blocks and a closed-envelope system of bidding. The larger frequency blocks were offered with a discount to reflect the bigger investments in infrastructure required.