Egyptians move away from fixed line to mobile Internet services

Ahram Online, Wednesday 18 Jun 2014

Fixed line subscribers drop as Egyptians choose increasingly to get online via mobiles

internet useres
More and more Egyptians are surfing the internet (Photo: Mohamed Nada)

Egyptians are increasingly abandoning fixed lines for mobile phones when expanding their use of the Internet, despite weak available services.

Egypt's fixed line subscribers declined 21.3 percent in March compared to the same period the prior year, falling to to 6.7 million when they registered 8.6 million in 2013, revealed the Egyptian cabinet’s Information and Decision Support Centre (IDSC).

Meanwhile, mobile subscribers increased 8.2 percent to 102 million, while Internet users surged 26.4 percent to 42 million.

According to the Internet World Stats December 2011 statistics, Egypt is ranked the second biggest internet user in Africa at 21.7 million internet users, preceded by Nigeria at 45 million. The website shows that African internet users represent nearly six per cent of world users, at 140 million.

State-run fixed line monopoly Telecom Egypt (TE) has been seeking a license to enter the mobile market, which it was granted earlier this year. But the telecoms company would have to sell its 45 percent stake in mobile operator Vodafone Egypt.

The company reported a first quarter net profit after taxes of LE549 million ($76.8 million), down 36 percent from the previous year's first quarter figure of LE858 million ($120 million).

TE expects one million subscribers for its mobile services within the first year of launch, expected later 2014, CEO Mohamed El-Nawawy said in a press conference last month.

A group of youth launched recently a campaign to improve the speed and lower the cost of Internet services in Egypt. In an interview with ONTV, El-Nawawy said TE was working to improve Internet speeds in Egypt.

"We have been trying to change the internet cables to fibre optics that will transmit the internet at a much higher speed. In Egypt, we have 18 million residences. Our company is able to reach seven million, and by 2015 we will have completed the project for 50 percent of the residences we are able to reach," explained El-Nawawy.

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