Egypt mobile phone ownership exceeds 80 per cent

Reuters, Sunday 2 Jan 2011

High demand on mobile opens the door for a fourth operator

Mobile
Cell phone subscriptions grew by nearly a quarter during the year

More than 80 per cent of Egyptians will start 2011 with mobile telephones, according to latest official figures which showed cell phone subscriptions grew by nearly a quarter during the year.

A state website said subscriptions as of October were 65.488 million, a rise of more than 12.5 million, or 23.6 per cent from a year earlier. Egypt is the Arab world's most populous country, with about 79 million people.

In October 2009, Egypt's three mobile operators -- Etisalat Egypt, Mobinil and Vodafone Egypt had 52.978 million subscribers.

The head of the telecoms regulator told Reuters in July that Egypt was looking into options for a fourth mobile licence, including a virtual network.

State-owned landline monopoly Telecom Egypt has expressed interest in a new licence.

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