LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--At a roundtable of industry and government leaders this week in Cairo, attended by H.E. Eng. Atef Helmy, Minister of Communications and Information Technology of Egypt, and Eng. Hesham El Alaily, Executive President of the NTRA, the GSMA published a new report revealing the potential for significant future growth in Egypt. By taking action to increase mobile broadband penetration, the country could unlock an additional EGP 310 billion (US $43 billion) in GDP and help create 1.2 million new jobs across the economy by 2030. Developed by Plum Consulting, the report, “The Economic and Social Impact of Mobile Broadband in Egypt”, finds that this opportunity can only be realised through long-term, pro-investment policies and a stable regulatory environment. In particular, the report identifies that Egypt currently has one of the world’s lowest levels of spectrum assigned to mobile.
“With the shift from traditional voice and SMS to mobile broadband, Egypt’s mobile operators are becoming increasingly constrained by limited domestic fibre optic network capacity. Equally, high speed international connections are essential if Egypt is to compete effectively at a global level,” said Tom Phillips, Chief Regulatory Officer, GSMA. “These constraints, combined with a lack of radio spectrum to support the latest mobile broadband technology, are stifling economic growth. Policies that encourage investment in mobile broadband and enable additional spectrum to be allocated for mobile services are critical to transforming Egypt’s economic future.”
At this week’s roundtable, Minister Helmy invited the mobile industry to convene a joint task force to address the current constraints and assess the demand and supply requirements to fast-track mobile broadband roll-out. The formation of the task force will be discussed at the GSMA’s Mobile 360-Middle East conference in Dubai later this month.
“Following successful discussions, it is now time for the Government and industry to take concrete steps to foster innovation and growth through mobile. This cooperation is a critical part of our joint effort to enhance the lives of our citizens and position Egypt as a leader in the region,” said H.E. Eng. Atef Helmy.
Recommendations for Long-Term Growth
To fully realise the potential of mobile broadband, the report proposes that the government and regulator work hand in hand with the mobile industry to develop a clear vision for a “Digital Egypt” that stimulates investment. Key recommendations include:
- Adoption of a stable regulatory environment to support private sector investment in fibre and mobile networks.
- Development of a new national broadband plan that aligns with international best practice to overcome past obstacles and set revised targets and policies for the next 10 years.
- Urgent release of additional spectrum in the 700MHz, 800MHz, 1.8GHz and 2.1GHz bands through a fair and transparent process to address mobile coverage and capacity constraints. The National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority is invited to publish a roadmap with clear timeframes for the release of this spectrum to incentivise investment.
- Access to transmission infrastructure necessary for mobile broadband deployment at acceptable price for all market participants.
- Improved usage of online government services to help encourage penetration of mobile broadband services.
“We welcome the outcome of this week’s roundtable and look forward to building on this momentum to deliver concrete changes that accelerate economic and social development in Egypt through mobile broadband,” continued Phillips.
To access the report please visit: http://www.gsma.com/spectrum/socio-economic_impact_mbb_egypt/.
Notes to Editors
As of June 2014, Egypt had approximately 100 million mobile connections and 24 million mobile broadband connections (source: GSMA Intelligence). Meanwhile there were less than 2.7 million fixed broadband connections in Egypt as of December 2013 (source: ITU).
About the GSMA
The GSMA represents the interests of mobile operators worldwide. Spanning more than 220 countries, the GSMA unites nearly 800 of the world’s mobile operators with 250 companies in the broader mobile ecosystem, including handset and device makers, software companies, equipment providers and Internet companies, as well as organisations in industry sectors such as financial services, healthcare, media, transport and utilities. The GSMA also produces industry-leading events such as Mobile World Congress and Mobile Asia Expo.
For more information, please visit the GSMA corporate website at www.gsma.com. Follow the GSMA on Twitter: @GSMA.