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Bloomberg Business: Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat Misr Sign 4G License Deals

Vodafone and Etisalat paid $335 million and $535.5 million respectively.
17.10.16 | Interesting article at Bloomberg Business

Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat signed deals with the country’s telecom regulator to acquire 4G licenses, joining Orange Egypt and Telecom Egypt.
Vodafone Egypt Telecommunications Co. and Etisalat Misr, the local arm of Abu Dhabi-based Emirates Telecommunications Group, paid $335 million and $535.5 million respectively, the National Telecom Regulatory Authority said Sunday in an e-mailed statement. Both also paid $11.3 million each to operate a virtual fixed-line service as part of the agreement signed on Saturday, the NTRA said.
Vodafone secured 5 megahertz of 4G spectrum while Etisalat got 10 megahertz, NTRA Executive President Mostafa Abdul Wahid told reporters. Additional frequencies would be offered in less than a year, he said.
Vodafone, Orange and Etisalat had initially refused NTRA’s earlier license terms, citing insufficient spectrum. The regulator said it would launch an international auction for the licenses and set new terms, including calculating the value of 4G and fixed-line licenses in dollars. It offered companies that paid the full amount in dollars priority in securing additional frequencies in the future.
“It is no surprise to us; they can’t afford to stay in the market without 4G and they were negotiating the terms," said Omar Maher, an EFG-Hermes telecom analyst. “Pricing the license in dollars with an expected devaluation pushed them to get the license sooner."