Vodafone Raises Concerns Over Egyptian License Shake-Up
Published on: 5th Mar 2014
By: Ian Mansfield
Vodafone has raised concerns about plans to grant a mobile network license to the state owned Telecom Egypt which also owns a 45% stake in Vodafone's local mobile network.
The rule changes would let the mobile networks resell Telecom Egypt's landline services, while the landline operator would be granted a MVNO license to resell one of the mobile network's services.
Vodafone said that the rules as planned would give the state-owned telco an unfair market advantage over the mobile networks. The main issue is that the landline access will be limited to just the older landline network which cannot carry reliable broadband internet services. Access to the fibre network is not included.
The plans are expected to be approved by the government this week.
"Vodafone looks forward to hearing the government's response to our concerns," according to the company statement, "in light of which we will assess what steps might be necessary to protect our shareholders' interests, including possible commencement of international arbitration proceedings."
The issue of Telecom Egypt's 45% stake in Vodafone Egypt has also still not been resolved, which could lead to a conflict of interest if the landline operator chooses a rival mobile network for its MVNO service.