Mobile Phones, Fixed Lines Compete for Subscribers in Egypt
In the five years since the service was introduced into the most populated Arab country, mobile phones have won 3.2 million subscribers, compared to It 6.4 million won over 20 by fixed-line phones, according to local press reports.
According to the Egyptian Gazette, young Egyptians claim the mobile phone has dethroned the fixed-line phone as the king of communications in a modern world, but the government has said it was not ready to abandon the traditional fixed-line phone.
An engineer at the state Telecommunications Control Authority told the Cairo-based Al Akhbar daily that the spread of mobile phones was still limited among Egyptians, the majority of whom prefer to have a fixed-line phone in their homes and businesses. He predicted, however, that the number of mobile and fixed-line phone would be equal within four years.
"After 2006 the demand for mobile phones will exceed that of traditional ones," she told the paper.
Othman Lutfi, former head of the government's Telephone Authority, said the average Egyptian still favors the fixed-line phone over a mobile because of cost considerations.
"You can make a 6-minute fixed-line phone call for ten piasters, but you will never seek a (mobile) service that charges you EP1.75 for a minute-long call," he said.
The advantages of mobile phones- portability, fashion statement and the convenience of being within contact 24-hours a day attracts a special class segment of society, but not everyone can afford their high costs, he told the paper - Albawaba.com
© 2001 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)