Egypt’s OTMT Rules Out MENA Submarine Cable Sale

Orascom Telecom Media & Technology Holding (OTMT.CA) will not give up its long submarine communications cable system Middle East and North Africa for Sea Cables (“MENA”), the CEO told Amwal Al Ghad Wednesday.

Karim Beshara, the CEO of OTMT, has confirmed the Group’s plans to continue its investments in MENA cable despite the current obstacles in Egypt.

Beshara further added that the OTMT is currently in talks with the Egyptian Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MCIT) seeking to resume the work on the submarine cable whether on the Group’s own expenses or to go into a partnership with Telecom Egypt (ETEL.CA).

The current political instability and the successive ministers in ICT sector have hindered reaching a final agreement on resuming the work on the submarine cable (MENA), the OTMT CEO noted.

Beshara also said the MENA cable extends over 8800 km linking Italy, Saudi Arabia, Oman and India, passing through Egypt. The cable infrastructure, together with the existing cables, covers current and future international communications requirements between Egypt, the Arab World & India and Europe, reducing the cost of these services for the Egyptian user, and further providing alternative paths to circumvent internet outages.

The continuous disruption to implement their projects, notably in the ICT sector and in marine cables linkage, would eventually push the foreign investors away putting Egypt in a long-term economic plight, Beshara pointed out.

Elsewhere,  Beshara  said OTMT is currently assessing to sell its unit OT Ventures, the content provider for the internet portals such as LINKonLINE, Masrawy.com and otlob.com.

OTMT is studying two options for OT Ventures whether to sell the whole stakes or to increase the investments focusing more on the content in accordance with the volume of business of the parent company, Orascom Holding.

He explained that OT Ventures’ activities do not comply with the parent company’s actual volume of businesses which are based on the major industries in the ICT sector.

He said OTMT’s major plans within the coming period will focus on the marine cables and mobile licenses.

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