The number of mobile phone subscriptions in Egypt rose 18 per cent to 83.43 million last year, shrugging off an economic crisis sparked by the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak, government figures showed on Thursday.
In December 2010, Egypt's three mobile operators -- Etisalat Egypt, Mobinil and the Egyptian unit of Vodafone -- had 70.66 million subscriptions.
Vodafone and Mobinil -- controlled by Egypt's Sawiris family and France Telecom -- have been competing fiercely for market leadership.
Subscriptions now roughly equal the country's population and the companies are seeking to maintain revenue growth by encouraging customers to use more data services. Egypt is the Arab world's most populous country, with more than 80 million people.