Further Dialogue Between Government and Mobile Industry Needed Ahead of 4G Licensing
London : The GSMA calls for the Egyptian authorities and the country’s mobile industry to work closely together to set a roadmap for the successful introduction of 4G services. Egypt is planning to move forward on licensing spectrum to support 4G in the coming weeks, although it is not yet clear if sufficient spectrum will be made available on terms that will encourage rapid and large-scale investments in 4G networks and services.
“There are some critical success factors that should to be clarified before moving forward with 4G licensing in Egypt,” said John Giusti, GSMA Chief Regulatory Officer. “The GSMA is concerned about sufficient spectrum being made available at fair, market-reflective prices to support full-fledged 4G rollout. A clear spectrum roadmap is necessary to allow operators to understand how and when sufficient spectrum will be made available. We believe that further dialogue between government and industry ahead of the proposed licensing process could provide clarity on a plan to bring world-class 4G mobile broadband to consumers and businesses across Egypt.”
Based on the GSMA’s international experience, the total amount of spectrum assigned to each operator for 4G needs to be in the range of 2x30MHz to 2x60MHz, across a range of coverage and capacity bands, with a minimum contiguous bandwidth of 2x10MHz in each band (to enable efficient network economics). It is also essential that cost of spectrum access enables the delivery of the long-term social and economic benefits of mobile broadband and takes into account the investment necessary to provide robust networks.
“To ensure the lowest possible cost and best possible experience for consumers, national 4G services must be able to scale rapidly,” added Giusti. “This requires that sufficient spectrum be made available now, and that plans for future spectrum releases are clarified. Having a spectrum roadmap is critical for business and investment planning.”
A recent Memorandum of Understanding between the GSMA, the Government of Egypt and the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA)1 was agreed to promote a regulatory environment in Egypt that stimulates long-term investment in mobile services.