Egypt’s telcom sector achieves internet penetration rates of 95%

EGYPT – The number of Egyptian families using internet from home has risen to 95% buoyed by heavy investments in Egypt’s telecommunication sector, a report by Egypt’s Ministry of Communications and Information Technology has revealed.

Egypt has recently experienced increased investments in its telecommunication as the four main telecommunication operators intensify their market expansion operations.

State-owned Telecom Egypt has for instance been investing heavily in infrastructure related to the rollout of its mobile network since it announced the launch of WE in 2016.

At the time, it expected to spend around LE22bn ($1.2bn) to build its own mobile phone network, including LE7.1bn ($399m) on a 4G licence.

Through loans, Telecom Egypt has already financed a number of infrastructure upgrades, including a $90m acquisition of the MENA submarine cable.

Private operators like Vodafone also made major investments in their own infrastructure networks.

In FY 2018/19, for example, Vodafone allocated LE4.5bn ($252.9m) to upgrade infrastructure, with a focus on investing in fibre-optic cable networks.

Manufacturing and tech start-ups are also attracting increased investment in Egypt with SICO Technology, pioneering the manufacturing of locally made tablets and mobile phones.

SICO is looking to further increase its investments to LE1bn ($56.2m) by 2021, up from LE420m ($23.6m) in 2018, as it seeks to reach a sales target of 1.5m devices annually.

Several multinational firms have also made significant investments to expand into the Egyptian market with ride hailing app Uber, having already announced plans to invest $100m in the country in the near term.

The improving infrastructure and increased affordability of mobile phones and data Egypt has also resulted in an increased number of Egyptians owning and operating mobile phones.

The Ministry of Communications and Information Technology revealed the percentage of Egyptian families that have a mobile phone increased to about 98.8 percent, while the percentage of families that have a landline phone reached about 27.6 percent.

According to the Egyptian ICT ministry, the percentage of families owning computers reached 64 percent, while the percentage of families using the Internet reached about 60.9 percent.

Looking into the future greater strategic collaboration between telecommunications companies is expected to play a key role in driving growth in Egypt’s telecommunication sector.

Already Telecom Egypt has inked separate deals with Etisalat and Orange relating to mobile termination rates (MTRs), which effectively reduce customer-associated costs and improve the quality of calls between the different operators’ networks.

 In other important developments, Telecom Egypt has signed agreements to provide transmission and infrastructure services to Orange and Vodafone for a three-year period up to 2021.

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