In its path to becoming an integrated communications company, Etisalat Misr will start operating its fixed line services. To this end, it increased its investments to EGP 3.5-4.5bn in order to develop its network next year.
According to Hazem Metwally, CEO of Etisalat Misr, the data transfer service is the largest compared to the company’s telecommunications services, although voice services still designate the largest percentage in revenues.
He added that to boost the company’s revenues and uphold profitability, they’re working on several axes including providing better products to customers and declining costs, as the number of customers has been stable for some time.
Due to the economic development in Egypt, the telecommunications sector is seeing progressive growth, thus the telcos are directing their plans and expansions in parallel with the development program in the country, said Metwally. So, more investments are directed to data transfer, having the highest potential in smartphone uses, while voice calls have dropped to second.
“We are working to expand and spread mobile stations through two factors: coverage and growing the capacity of stations,” he added.
Etisalat Misr is not only investing in the stations, but in the mobile network as well. Thus, due to high demand for data transfer, Metwally said that the company has increased its investment for the next year to reach EGP 3.5-4.5bn annually.
Etisalat Misr has previous investments which reached EGP 2.5-3.5bn per year, and is now providing its services to Telecom Egypt as part of a local roaming agreement between the two companies.
“We have an agreement with Telecom Egypt for five years to provide local roaming services on our network and we are ready to absorb any growth in Telecom Egypt network,” he noted.
“The local roaming agreement with Telecom Egypt has been amended to become more satisfactory for both parties, and has been extended to five years instead of three.”
Etisalat Misr increased its capital in February by EGP 4.5bn to reach EGP 19.4bn which part of it was injected into restructuring and financing new expansions.
According to Metwally, the company plans to compensate the weak sales of mobile lines through opening new branches. The company is also studying with the ministry of communications and information technology (MCIT) the opening of a service center in one of the new technological parks.
In addition, Metwally clarified that the company signed a commercial agreement with Telecom Egypt to provide its customers with fixed voice services over the fixed line incumbent’s nationwide network. Etisalat Misr paid $11m for the virtual landline service. The main target is to provide integrated services to consumers.
Sales of new lines are expected to fall, due to the recent increase in prices to EGP 70 up from EGP 15 per mobile line.