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EGYPT

  • Egypt's colorful Spectrum Allocation Chart, in English (2004).
  • "Egypt to finalise wireless Net regulations," by Vanessa Haarhoff, ITWeb, 24 January 2007: "Egypt's National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) is in the final phase of finalising broadband wireless access (BWA) regulations, says Mohammad El-Megharbel, senior telecoms planning engineer at the authority... 'There has been constant consultation by many market players with the NTRA regarding the proposed regulatory framework for BWA networks working in the frequency band of 3.5 GHz,' El-Megharbel explains..."
  • "Any usage of frequency spectrum and wireless equipment without obtaining a license from NTRA has been incriminated according to chapter 7 of telecom Law no. 10 for the year 2003... Thereupon, his Excellency the minister of telecommunications and information technology issued the ministerial decree no. 258 for the year 2003 concerning the conditions and status of the issuance of frequency spectrum and wireless equipment licenses..." ---National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority's "Frequency Spectrum" web page. Chapter III of the Telecommunications Regulation Act (Law No. 10/2003) concerns "Licenses and Permits," while Chapter IV deals with the "Frequency Spectrum Management Sector & Licensing its Usage." Click here for an English-language summary of the law.
  • "Complete liberalization of Egypt's telecom services is expected in 2006... due to the end of Telecom Egypt's monopoly" on 31 December 2005 (Al-Gomhouriya, 29 December 2005).
  • Application form for Wi-Fi license.
  • The "Licensing Status" chart on NTRA's website says that the question of Wi-Fi licensing is still "under study."
  • "In January 2002, the government's first major success in its effort to make technology more affordable came with the launching of the Free Internet Initiative in Cairo. The Free Internet model is a Public Private Partnership, a joint effort between MCIT and Telecom Egypt, in cooperation with the majority of Egypt's private Internet Service Providers (ISPs). The initiative offers subscription free Internet services to Internet users via dialup to special-prefix numbers starting with 0777 or 0707. In September 2002, free Internet services was available nationwide. Today, Internet users across Egypt are only charged for the price of local phone calls associated with connecting to the network. The local phone call charges are approximately 0.15 USD for an hour of access. The revenues from the free Internet calls are shared between Telecom Egypt and the service providers... IT Clubs, currently 1349 are an essential component of the country's national plan to familiarize people with computers and promote ICT awareness regardless of skills, gender, and income level. The IT Clubs model is a public-private sector initiative to bring affordable Internet access throughout the country to those who cannot afford the PCs... Users receive guidance through instructors available in each club as well as training for basic skills, such as keyboarding, software applications, and web design. The government provides all equipment and hardware necessary for each club's launch..." ---from "Application of DOI in Egypt," by Taha Mohamed Shendy Aly Shendy, (ITU Case Study, 2006).
  • Egypt ICT in the News - a daily English-language summary produced by the General Dynamics Corporation. GD Corp. provides policy support to the MCIT and NTRA under a grant from USAID. Their ICT Program Quarterly Progress Report for July-September 2005 says "The ICT Program delivered to the NTRA and MCIT-TPU the 'Licensing Trends for Converged Telecommunications Services' report, written by short-term advisor Beverly Andrews..."
  • "Rolling Out WiFi: Egypt's Telecom Regulator Debates with the Community," Ministry of Communications & IT press release, 23 December 2003; the Arabic version is here: شبكات التراسل اللاسلكية WiFi في مصر.
  • "1KM, 2Mbps, 802.11b wireless link using Linksys WAP11 + Yagi, in Hurghada, EGYPT," by Hassan Adly, 10 December 2001. 2003 update.
  • "New 'hotspots' to offer wireless internet," by Matheson Cartwright, Business Monthly, July 2004, American Chamber of Commerce in Egypt.
  • "Menatel tests a new WiFi voice service with Sofrecom," Sofrecom press release, June 2006: Sofrecom will install WiFi router/modems in Menatel's payphones to enable subscribers to make VoIP-over-WiFi phonecalls. Menatel is Egypt's largest payphone operator.
  • "Sharm El Sheikh, Luxor get WiFi network," TradeArabia, 1 August 2007: "A USAID-funded project to promote connectivity in Egypt, has built municipal wireless broadband networks in Luxor and Naama Bay in Sharm El Sheikh. The While in Egypt Stay Connected (WIESC) project is working with the Egyptian Ministry of Communications and Information Technology to expand internet connectivity among Egyptian tourist cities..."
  • "Egypt: Tourist Destinations the Latest Places to Join Hot-Spot Roll-Out," by Russell Southwood, Balancing Act (via AllAfrica.com), 30 August 2007: "In Luxor, Wi-Fi covers a 5 km stretch of the Nile Corniche, connecting users in outdoor cafes and on Nile cruise ships at 256K. Connectivity even extends into Luxor and Karnak temples, allowing the novelty of instant messaging while seated in a 4000-year-old monument. Also benefiting from Wi-Fi coverage, connected users can logon from pedestrian areas in Sharm el-Sheikh's Naama Bay, or even a chaise longue along a beach promenade. Before this roll-out, there were only a very small number of hot-spots. The cost of rolling out the hot-spots has been paid for by different equipment vendors: SR Telecom in Luxor and Redline and Colubris in Sharm el-Sheikh. The Luxor hot-spots are run by Telecom Egypt's ISP TE Data and the Sharm el-Sheik operation by local ISP Egynet. Both ISPs paid the equipment installation costs. There is no revenue split with site owners because the networks are outdoors and the ISPs have done all the aerial site leases themselves. However, they are selling the pre-paid scratch cards to vendors at a small discount... Hot-spots in these destinations will add to Egypt's already burgeoning hot-spot culture. In Cairo there are a great deal of places offering free access including coffee shops, Macdonalds and a local chain called Cilantro. In each of these places, you will see a mix of tourists, expats and locals working away on their laptops. Interestingly, these include people using Skype with headsets as PC to PC calls are legal in Egypt. One local visitor reported that the bandwidth was of sufficiently high quality that he was able to use the SIP client on his Nokia N80 to call home for virtually nothing. Further south, with the exception of South Africa, public hot-spots are still a relatively exotic offering. However, both pay-for and free hot-spots in hotels can be found increasingly widely in a range of countries. Perhaps public hot-spots will become the next wave of growth in the coming year."
  • "Egyptian Telecommunication Regulations ( ETRs) in context of WTO/BTA," by Dr. Sherif Guinena, NTRA - powerpoint presentation at the 4th Annual Private Sector Cooperation Meeting in the Arab Region, organized in Tunis by the ITU Development Bureau, 30 November - 1 December 2004.
  • الشبكات اللاسلكية - WiFi Technology, Telecom Regulatory Authority, Technology Tracking Department (July 2003) in English. Part 3 discusses regulatory issues, summarizing the approaches of the US, UK, France, Finland, Norway, Sweden and Japan (as of 2003 = now outdated).
  • The Egyptian Information Society Initiative. WLANs are discussed in Part 5.
  • Egypt's communications ministry proposed that "making use of unlicensed radio spectrum to deliver cheap and fast internet" should be added to the WSIS Action Plan. This proposal was presented in writing at a WSIS preparatory conference in Beirut, Lebanon, 4-6 February 2003.
  • "Egypt ICT and Civil Society Report" by Leila Hassanin, Association for Progressive Communication, April 2003.
  • Cairo-based PICO Logistics plans to introduce RFID into Egypt as part of its asset management services for the oil and gas industry (see "Global Institute Honors Pico Energy," press release dated 11 July 2006.
  • "Bluetooth brings Egyptians love at first bite," by Harry de Quetteville, The Daily Telegraph. 14 January 2007.

Middle East - Regional Overview