The final price for Egypt's fourth mobile communications license will be set by the second half of 2013.
Amr Badawi, CEO of the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA), made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday.
The authority began the procedure of issuing the license to the state-owned landline monopoly owner, Telecom Egypt (TE), in late December 2012, Badawi said.
The three established mobile services operators, Mobinil, Vodafone Egypt, and Etisalat, would eventually be allowed to provide land line services using TE infrastructure, Badawi added.
Badawi estimated the mobile communications market saturation level to be 115 to 120 per cent, although he refused to consider this as a reason for not issuing a fourth license.
The authority is still examining the issue posed by TE's ownership of 45 per cent of Vodafone Egypt.