Siemens unqualified to partner as Egypt’s third mobile provider
Egypt's state-owned fixed line monopoly Telecom Egypt (TE) has recently announced that the German Siemens company is ineligible to partner with the national telecom carrier in executing and operating the country’s third mobile telephone network.
TE Chairman Aqil Bashir stated at a press conference that Siemens had been disqualified because it lacks the necessary experience in operating mobile networks, rather it specializes in manufacturing telecommunication equipment and technology, according to an Al-Hayat report.
In a bid to improve TE's chances of finding a strategic investor who would help launch the third mobile network, the company tried to avoid paying for the operator's license. It has however recently been obliged to pay the 1.975 billion Egyptian pounds ($466 million) fees as well as separate annual channel fees.
TE hopes to begin offering mobile services in 2002, once the exclusivity period given to the two existing service-providers, MobiNil and Vodafone Egypt (Click GSM), expires.
Towards setting up the country's third mobile service provider, the Egyptian ministry of telecommunications and information technology has recently contracted Merrill Lynch and the Commercial International Bank (CIB) to advise it in preparing the international tender that will select an anchor investor.
Telecom Egypt announced that it will issue an initial public offering (IPO) after it has found a strategic investor for up to 34 percent of the company. Bashir said TE expects to choose a foreign company in October.
It has been reported that in mid-August Siemens had finalized a three-year global purchasing deal with Egypt's Orascom Telecom Holding for construction and extension of GSM mobile networks. — (Mena Report)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)