Egypt: NTRA, Orange, Vodafone and Etisalat Sign Agreement to End Interconnection Disputes

Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) and Orange Egypt, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Misr have signed a settlement agreement on 9 September 2019. The purpose of this arrangement initialed by Mustafa Abdel Wahed, Executive Chairman of NTRA, Yasser Shaker, CEO of Orange Egypt, Alexander Froman, CEO of Vodafone Egypt and Hazem Metwally, CEO of Etisalat Misr, is the end of the legal battles between telecom operators on interconnection rates that have persisted for the last ten years.

The latest battle, the one between Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Misr, launched in 2016, before the Cairo Regional Arbitration Center for International Trade, ended last January with the condemnation of Vodafone Egypt to pay a compensation of 750 million Egyptian pounds (41,751,179 USD) to the affiliate of the UAE telecoms group, for violation of the regulator’s decision setting the financial compensation payable by each party to each other for any unit of service rendered.

According to Amr Talaat, the Egyptian Minister of Communication and Information Technologies “these disputes have had a negative impact on the stability and clarity of the relations between ICT operators, thus constituting an obstacle for foreign investors when they inject new investments that can be used to improve the quality of telecommunications services provided to citizens “ .

He stressed that the agreement has the power to create an environment conducive to the development of local and international businesses investing in the ICT sector in Egypt.

Mustafa Abdel Wahed revealed that rules have been established for future work on tariffs for mobile calls exchanged between different networks, through a tariff agreement, between companies, which should then be approved by the telecom regulator.

Source: Agence Ecofin