Telecom Egypt gets $167M from EIB for 4G expansion
Telecom Egypt has secured a medium-term loan of €150 million (US$167 million) from the European Investment Bank (EIB), which it will use to expand its 4G network.
The loan – from the lending arm of the European Union – will be used to improve Telecom Egypt's mobile network coverage by deploying around 2,000 new mobile sites and installing additional capacity layers to its existing portfolio of towers, the teloc said in a statement.
It said network improvements will be rolled out across Egypt, including less densely populated areas, and will enhance competition and affordability of services.
"Telecom Egypt will capitalize on its multiple financial resources, newly awarded spectrum and rich portfolio of valuable products, among other factors, to continue serving its growing customer base and strengthen its competitive position in the Egyptian telecom market," said Adel Hamed, CEO of Telecom Egypt.
Telecom Egypt is the North African country's smallest mobile operator with only about 9% market share at the end of 2021, according to statistics from market research company Omdia, but has been growing customers steadily over the past five years.
The market is dominated by Vodafone Egypt with almost 43% market share, followed by Orange Egypt with 26% and Etisalat Misr with almost 22% market share. Telecom Egypt also owns almost 45% of Vodafone Egypt.
Of Telecom Egypt's around 9.4 million subscribers about 5 million were using 4G services at the end of 2021, according to Omdia.
"This project will help accelerate large scale investment in mobile networks and ensure affordable access to digital services in Egypt. The EIB identifies the digital transformation as a catalyzer for innovation, employment and sustainable economic growth. We are pleased to partner with Telecom Egypt, a dynamic group engaged in its ambitious network expansion program, to offer a modern and broader access to connectivity throughout Egypt," said Flavia Palanza, director for EU Neighborhood Countries at the EIB.
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*Top image source: Telecom Egypt Investor Relations Facebook page.
— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa