Vodafone Egypt rules out growth in revenues until year-end

Ahram Online, Sunday 11 Sep 2011

Maintenance and network development costs and a cut in roaming revenues are all weighing on the country's largest mobile operator

Vodafone Egypt
Vodafone Egypt awaits approval of SCAF to invest in a fibre network. (Photo file)

Vodafone Egypt’s CEO, Hatem Dweidar, has ruled out any growth in revenues until year-end, even amidst strong subscriber acquisition, with the operator’s subscriber base reaching 34 million by the end of June 2011, reported Beltone Financial in its daily bulletin.

The country's mobile operator predicts usage will pick up in early 2012 amidst Egypt's first free elections in decades.

The gap between revenues and general spending on network development and maintenance is widening, which is happening at the same time as cuts in call rates, a decline in roaming services caused by the setback in tourism,  heightened competition and near-market saturation, Dweidar explained in comments published in Al Shorouk and Al Masry Al Youm newspapers.

Yet he affirmed that Vodafone Egypt is dedicated to its expansion plans for 3G and value-added services.

Vodafone Egypt expects the Egyptian telecom market to improve starting the beginning of 2012, on the increased usage of telecom services amidst political campaigning timed with elections, due to take place starting the end of 2011 and continuing well into the next year.

The compaay affirmed that no negotiations were had been held with the Egyptian government regarding amendments to mobile licences’ terms,.

Concerning talks with state monopoly Telecom Egypt on a dispute over the quality of service it provides to Vodafone Egypt, the situation remains at a standstill, with no agreement reached, as yet.

Vodafone Egypt is also awaiting the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) to extend fibre optic networks, after having received the approval of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) two months ago, Al Mal newspaper reported.

Vodafone Egypt is still reviewing the investment cost of the project and is spotting designated areas for extending these networks.

Vodafone Egypt has not yet decided on the telecom operators it would cooperate with to extend fibre optic networks, according to Khaled Hegazy, Vodafone Egypt’s External Relations Manager.

Etisalat Egypt received the NTRA’s approval to extend a fibre optic network two years ago, while Mobinil has not received such approval yet.

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