Minister of Communications Yasser Al-Qadi said the ministry has prepared a package of laws and regulations for the telecommunications sector, to be presented to the parliament for discussion and approval, in order to support the sector and attract more investments.
He added that the laws were delivered to the cabinet before discussing them there. These laws include the provision of third generation (3G) frequencies for mobile operators.
This development came during a symposium at the Canadian Chamber of Commerce in Cairo last weekend, headed by Fayez Ezz El-Din, Chairman of the Chamber in Egypt and the Middle East. The meeting aimed to discuss the Egyptian-Canadian telecommunications sector.
Al-Qadi said the issue of the unified license will be included in the legislation to be presented to the House of Representatives, noting that it will help all telecommunications companies operate without distinction, and boost state revenues from this sector.
He revealed fourth generation (4G) mobile services will be launched before the end of the final quarter this year.
Ezz El-Din said the chamber has cooperated with the Ministry of Communications, in order to benefit from the experience from their Canadian counterparts in this sector, by developing a number of projects and programmes. These include “EXPORT-IT”, to encourage the exports of small and medium-sized companies, in collaboration with the Information Technology Industry Development Agency (ITIDA).
He added that the communication sector is one of the most important economic sectors in Canada, with over 37,000 companies at a value of $160bn, and with $5bn spent on research annually, at a 32% ratio of the total research costs in all sectors in Canada.
He noted that 81% of information technology products and services in Canada are exported abroad for $13bn per year. The sector also employs 47% of all university graduates in Canada, compared to 26% for other sectors.
Workers in the sector have an average annual income of about $76,000, versus $52,000 for other sectors. Moreover, 86% of technology companies in Canada are small and medium-sized companies, comprising of less than 10 employees each.