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Mobinil seeks international calls license, negotiates price

Mobinil has applied for a license to set up a gateway to route international calls and is negotiating with NTRA on the fee.
Mobinil | 19.12.2011
Mobinil has applied for a license to set up a gateway to route international calls and is negotiating with the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) on the fee, Chief Executive Yves Gauthier told Zawya.

"We want to have our own international calls license to provide our service directly to more than 31 million customers in Egypt. We are negotiating with NTRA to reduce the fee, which is EGP 3.1 billion [USD 516 million]," Gauthier said.

Mobinil and Vodafone route international calls through the gateway provided by Telecom Egypt. Etisalat Egypt has its own gateway for international calls.

Mobinil posted a third-quarter net profit of EGP 9.7 million (USD 1.6 million), down 96.5% from a year earlier, as a higher tax rate and a boycott campaign hit profit, Zawya Dow Jones had reported.

Mobinil's investments in Egypt during 2011 amounted to EGP 3 billion, stable from the same level in 2010. "We are studying the investment plans for 2012," Gauthier said.

Mobinil has struggled to grow profits over 2011, mainly due to an erosion in revenues from its core voice operations, zawyadowjones said. By the end of the third quarter of 2011, the Egyptian unit of UK's Vodafone Group had 44% of the voice market, Mobinil had 39% and Emirates Telecommunications Corporation's local unit, Etisalat Egypt, had grown its share to 17%, after entering the market in 2007, the news agency reported. The smartphone penetration rate in Egypt is expected to rise from an estimated 6% at the end of 2011 to nearly 22% by the end of 2016, Zawya Dow Jones cited a telecom analyst at Informa as saying.