Egypt’s NTRA signs settlement deals with mobile operators

24700229995 a02b3fd59a zEgypt’s National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has signed settlement agreements with three mobile operators: Orange, Vodafone, and Etisalat

The aim is to resolve disputes that have lasted ten years as a result of the appeal of certain mobile operators to the judiciary, according to NTRA.

This is in addition to the arbitration of the NTRA resolutions issued in 2009 concerning the rates of mobile calls exchanged between different networks, leading to different calculation methods for these prices, with financial disputes over the value of more than two billion EGP erupting.

Such disputes have had a negative impact on the stability and clarity of relations between operators in the Egyptian ICT sector, constituting an obstacle for foreign investors to infuse new investments that can be used to improve the quality of telecommunications services provided to citizens.

The agreements were signed by Mustafa Abdel-Wahed, NTRA acting executive president, Orange Egypt CEO Yasser Shaker, Vodafone Egypt CEO Alexander Froman, and Etisalat Misr CEO Hazem Metwally.

Amr Talaat, minister of communications and information technology, emphasised that such agreements reflect the efforts of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (MCIT) to resolve all disputes between mobile operators and service regulators and to create an enabling environment for the growth of local and international companies investing in the Egyptian ICT sector.

Talaat added that the agreements will have a positive impact on the investment landscape in the sector, thus reflecting on the companies’ abilities to develop the services provided to citizens.

Associate Minister for Networks and ICT infrastructure Hossam El-Gamal, mandated by the ICT Minister, held intense meetings over the past months with the disputing parties to reach a compromise and resolve the disputes to satisfy all parties. The meetings resulted in an agreement between the parties to sign settlement agreements, as a result of which judicial disputes were ended.

Abdel-Wahed added that rules have been established for future work on the rates of mobile calls exchanged between different networks, through an agreement between companies on these prices, with presenting these prices to NTRA to be approved.

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