Telecom Egypt inks $569 mln loan for 4G mobile schemes

State-run landline monopoly Telecom Egypt has signed Wednesday a loan agreement worth 5 billion Egyptian pounds ($569.3 million) with a banking alliance to finance its 4G schemes.

The banking alliance is led by the National Bank of Egypt (NBE), Telecom Egypt’s chief executive Tamer Gadallah said on Wednesday.

The loan will finance Telecom Egypt’s plans to compete to provide mobile services in the country after obtaining the fourth generation mobile service licence.

Telecom Egypt announced in a press conference on Wednesday that it acquired the country’s first 4G mobile license at a cost of 7.08 billion Egyptian pounds paving the way for it to become the fourth mobile provider in Egypt. It had so far paid 5.2 billion pounds for the license, 50 percent of which was paid in dollars. The rest will be paid over four years, the company told reporters.

The licence is valid for 15 years and services must be made available within six months.

The Egyptian government is selling four 4G licenses as part of a long-awaited plan to reform the country’s telecoms sector.

Earlier this month, Egypt’s telecoms regulator approved revised terms for 4G mobile broadband network licences and offered them to Telecom Egypt and all three existing mobile carriers Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat and Orange Egypt.