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Egypt’s Telecom Regulator Approves Revised Terms for 4G Licenses

People walk past a new shop of French telecom operator Orange, which was previously known as Mobinil, in CairoPeople walk past a new shop of French telecom operator Orange, which was previously known as Mobinil, in Cairo
People walk past a new shop of French telecom operator Orange, which was previously known as Mobinil, in Cairo, Egypt, April 6, 2016.Photo by Amr Dalsh—Reuters

Egypt’s telecom regulator has approved revised terms for 4G mobile broadband network licenses, and said it will send them out to operators on Sunday.

The government offered four 4G telecom licenses in June, to Telecom Egypt and to the country’s three mobile services providers—Orange Egypt , Vodafone Egypt, and Etisalat—but only Telecom Egypt accepted the terms. The regulator, keen to prioritize existing carriers, decided to revise them.

A senior official at the Telecommunications Ministry told Reuters on Wednesday that the revised terms include additional frequencies but there is no change in the pricing or the condition that 50% of the payment for the licenses must be made in U.S. dollars.

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The National Telecom Regulatory Authority later issued a statement confirming it approved the final terms and that the companies had until Sept. 22 to accept.

The government, which is grappling with a shortage of hard currency as economic and political turmoil in Egypt in the past few years has deterred foreign investment, has said it hopes to raise 22.3 billion Egyptian pounds ($2.5 billion) in total in license fees.