The four telecommunications companies in Egypt, Vodafone, Orange, Etisalat, and WE, are set to begin commercial operation of 4G services on Thursday.
According to an official with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), a ceremony marking the launch will take place in the pyramids area on Thursday, which will be attended by Prime Minister Sherif Ismail and Minister of Communication Yasser El Kady.
A source at Etisalat Egypt said that 4G services have already been working and that the launch on Thursday is only the commercial inauguration. Asked about the readiness of the operator to provide its services and provide a virtual network for WE, the source said that the infrastructure of the company is strong and ready for such a task, where it developed the infrastructure to match future developments.
The source noted that the company’s clients do not need to swap their SIM cards to match the 4G services unlike competing companies.
WE, a Telecom Egypt subsidiary, has recently joined the mobile market, after signing the local roaming agreement with Etisalat Egypt to provide its mobile services virtually relying on Etisalat Egypt’s network until it builds its own.
The NTRA has redistributed 4G frequencies to mobile operators after the three companies refused the license terms at the end of September 2016 and renegotiated the terms with the NTRA and officials from the Ministry of Communication and Information Technology.
According to the terms rejected by mobile companies, Orange and Vodafone were to obtain 7.5 MHz each, while Etisalat receive 10 MHz, in addition to 15 MHz for Telecom Egypt. The offered bands total 40 MHz.
Following a period of rejection, Orange and Etisalat received 10 MHz each, while Vodafone obtained 5 MHz.