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Reuters: Vodafone Egypt to pay half of 4G licence in dollars

Vodafone Egypt agreed on Sunday to pay $335 million for the licence as part of the country's long-delayed plan to reform the telecoms sector.
19.10.16 | Interesting article at Reuters

Vodafone Egypt will pay half of the fee for its 4G mobile broadband operating licence in dollars, a company official told Reuters on Monday.

Egypt's telecom regulator said in August that companies interested in acquiring a 4G licence would be required to pay 50 percent of the fees in U.S dollars, a demand which was resisted by the telecom companies.

Egypt needs hard currency after burning through its foreign exchange reserves and some multinational companies have struggled to repatriate dollars amid the currency shortage.

The company did not disclose at the time whether they had reached agreement over the dollar payment, but said new terms that eased their ability to buy additional radio operating frequencies for the 4G network had sweetened the deal.

"We paid 1.5 billion Egyptian pounds of the licence value on October 15 and we will pay the remaining fee within the coming days in coordination with our parent company," the official, who declined to be identified, said.

Egypt is selling four 4G licences as part of a long-awaited plan to reform the telecoms sector and raise much-needed dollars for depleted government coffers.

Its three existing mobile network operators - Orange , Vodafone and Etisalat - had initially all turned down the 4G licences saying the amount of radio spectrum on offer was inadequate.