Telecom Egypt signs agreement to speed up internet in Egypt, Africa

Ahram Online , Wednesday 22 Nov 2023

Egypt’s main Internet operator Telecom Egypt signed an agreement with the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) to install and operate the Managed Root Server (IMRS) in the Egyptian company’s Regional Data Hub.

The signing ceremony.
Telecom Egypt, ICANN officals at the signing ceremony. Cabinet.


Installing ICANN IMRS in Cairo will enhance internet flexibility and speed in Egypt and Africa by decreasing dependency on servers and networks abroad, according to a Cabinet statement on Wednesday.

The new agreement will help improve internet connectivity in Africa and improve infrastructure in Egypt and Africa, said Minister of Communications and Information Technology Amr Talaat. 

CEO and Managing Director of Telecom Egypt Mohamed Nasr stated that installing the IMRS will enable responding to all DNS Queries from Africa locally instead of relying on other similar regional servers across the globe.

A DNS query is a demand for information sent from a user's computer (DNS client) to a DNS server. 

The IMRS will also reduce risks of hacking and cyberattacks, Nasr added.

Installing an additional IMRS in Egypt will aid the efforts for developing the technology services infrastructure in Egypt, building on the country’s strategic location and its role as a regional hub for internet movement in Africa, stated Interim President and CEO of ICANN Sally Costerton.

ICANN has deployed 14 IMRS instances in 12 African countries to help bring potential African Internet users online they will need more Internet infrastructure.

ICANN is an American multistakeholder group and nonprofit organization responsible for coordinating the maintenance and procedures of several databases related to the namespaces and numerical spaces of the Internet, ensuring the network's stable and secure operation.

Telecom Egypt, a Cairo-listed state-owned company, has been accelerating efforts to boost internet infrastructure in Egypt. 

In 2023 alone, the company signed agreements to connect the Egyptian and African networks with the European Medusa Submarine Cable System and land 2Africa subsea internet cable, the world’s longest undersea communications cable, which is connected to 33 countries.

Egypt has made significant progress in recent years towards digitalization. The country inked 29 agreements with foreign businesses, including IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, and Dell Technologies, in December 2022 to establish outsourcing centres, which are projected to increase Egypt's digital exports by $1 billion by 2025 and generate more than 34,000 jobs.

Egyptian digital exports are projected to reach approximately $5.5 billion in FY2022/23, up 12.2 percent from $4.9 billion in FY2021/22.

Last October, Minister Talaat stated that Egypt invested EGP 50 billion in digital transformation projects.

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