NTRA approves usage of new frequencies for mobile networks to improve services by 2022

Ahram Online , Monday 22 Nov 2021

Egypt’s National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) green-lit the usage of new network frequencies for Vodafone, Etisalat, and WE and is expecting an improvement in network services by early 2022, according to a statement released by the NTRA on Sunday.

File Photo: Egypt s National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) building. Al-Ahram

The three network providers’ services will now run at 40 MHz of 2.6 GHz on the Time Division Duplex Spectrum, a new frequency band that is expected to expand the capacity of networks and improve services.

According to the statement, Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat explained that the step aims to improve the quality of telecommunications services, help keep pace with the heightened demand for network services in the Egyptian market, and support Egypt’s digital transformation.

He added that the new frequencies will help significantly improve the quality of voice and data services over the coming period.

The Egyptian telecommunication regulator signed investment agreements estimated at $1.170 billion in 2020 allowing Vodafone Egypt to start operating at a frequency of 40 MHz, and Etisalat and WE at 20 MHz.

The statement added that the NTRA directed the three mobile network operators (MNOs) to take the necessary measures to leverage the new frequencies as well as follow the technical procedures that will prepare the networks for the new frequencies and overcome the hurdles that may negatively affect the quality of services.

The NTRA is aiming to see remarkable improvement in the quality of voice and data services by early 2022 to catch up with the increased rate of cellular tower installations.

In recent months, complaints have surfaced about the poor network coverage and data services provided by MNOs nationwide.

In a NTRA report measuring the quality of calls and data services in the third quarter of 2021 in 81 cities and districts countrywide, Vodafone came in first and Orange last.

The authority has enforced several measures to raise the quality of services provided, including fining telecommunication companies EGP 25 billion for violating phone service quality standards in accordance with the licences they have been granted.

The measures also include establishing 641 new mobile stations in the third quarter of 2021 to provide 500 villages with 4G network services, said the report.

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