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Research by Country/Region January 22, 2018  
Egypt: Broadband Fixed Wireless Access

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A. CURRENT GOVERNMENT POLICY GOVERNING ACCESS TO THE WORLDWIDE FIXED WIRELESS ACCESS BAND (3.4 TO 3.7 GHZ), LMDS (28 TO 31 GHZ) AND UNLICENSED BANDS

The band of 3.4 - 3.7 GHz has historically been used for microwave links. It is currently being used for wireless local access in some area of Greater Cairo where there are no operational microwave links. 1 GHz has been cleared for use in preparation for the launching of the LMD service in Egypt -- after finalizing of the necessary licensing framework, which first began to take shape in 2001. The spectrum was to be allocated according to the ETSI standards for LMD service; however, due to the global slowdown in investment in telecommunications, the licensing process has not yet materialized and the prospects in the next 5-10 years are unknown. The unlicensed bands are allocated mainly for the use of wireless LANs (2.11a, 2.11b and 2.11g) in the 2.4 and 5 GHz range. All equipment must be approved prior to use in accordance with specifications set by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), the most important of which is a limitation on maximum transmitter power to 100 megawatts.

B. DEMAND OR NEED FOR BROADBAND FIXED WIRELESS (BFW) SERVICES

Currently, there are a number of national projects for connecting schools and other governmental agencies to the Internet as a part of larger E-government and E-learning initiatives. Thus, there is clearly latent demand for broadband access. However, the terrestrial network has improved drastically over the last few years, and technologies for providing broadband services over copper wires (e.g. xDSL) are being introduced throughout the country.

C. LICENSING

The licensing framework for BFW is currently being finalized and is due to be announced sometime in the fourth quarter of this calendar year. The terms and conditions will be announced on TRA’s website (http://www.tra.gov.eg).

D. FOREIGN OWNERSHIP LIMITS

No. According to Egypt’s commitments under the Basic Telecommunications Agreement, there are no limitations on foreign ownership in companies, nor there are limitations on the services they may provide.

E. INTERCONNECTION TARIFFS

There are no such tariffs yet. However, there will be expected tariff interconnection agreements with the fixed network operators, which will be published by TRA at the same time as the licensing framework for BFW.

F. OTHER POLICIES AND REGULATIONS GOVERNING BFW

The allocation of the spectrum will be done according to ETSI standards. Further policies will be announced with the framework.

G. TO WHAT EXTENT ARE BFW SERVICES BEING OFFERED BY DOMESTIC OR INTERNATIONAL FIRMS?

Currently there are no BFW services being offered in Egypt.

H. CURRENT LIST OF BFW ACCESS PROVIDERS

Not applicable.

I. OTHER REGULATIONS, CERTIFICATION PROCEDURES, AND IMPORT DUTIES

Egypt has signed the Information Technology Agreement, and hence all duties and customs on ICT-related products are scheduled to be abolished by 2005.

RESPONSE INFORMATION

This response was prepared by the U.S. Department of Commerce/Commercial Service Cairo, Egypt, in June 2003. For further clarification please contact:

Hend El Sineity
Commercial Specialist
U.S. Embassy, Cairo
Hend.El-Sineity@mail.doc.gov

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