Telecom Egypt mulls virtual mobile network

By : |September 27, 2010 0

CAIRO, EGYPT: Landline monopoly Telecom Egypt is considering setting up a virtual mobile network, a newspaper reported on Tuesday, possibly boosting the company’s exposure to the lucrative Egyptian cell phone market.

The mostly state-owned firm holds 45 per cent of Vodafone’s local unit, but has been looking for a way to get more involved in the mobile phone industry, which has lured away its fixed-line customers and hurt its revenues.

"The company is currently preparing studies on establishing a virtual mobile network to provide services to customers through existing companies’ networks …," Communications Minister Tarek Kamel told state-run daily al-Akhbar.

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A mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) provides mobile phone services without having its own network, and so must have lease agreements with other operators.

Telecom Egypt this year tried to increase its stake in Vodafone Egypt, but talks with the parent firm ended in June without a deal.

The Egyptian unit’s chief executive officer was quoted separately in al-Mal newspaper on Tuesday as denying Vodafone had restarted talks to sell its stake in the unit.

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