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Egypt’s mobile telecommunications market continues to grow rapidly thanks to the gradual liberalisation of the sector and intensifying competition amongst service providers and manufacturers.
The number of mobile phone users in Egypt rose by 34% in 2005-6, with the May 2007 launch of the country’s third mobile operator set to heighten competition and encourage investment in infrastructure and services.
With penetration rates still low in regional terms, and the prospect of further government deregulation ahead, the market will remain attractive both to network operators and suppliers of related consumer mobile products.
With 74.0 million people, Egypt is the Arab world’s most populous country and boasts one of the fastest-growing mobile telecoms markets in the region:
Source: Euromonitor International from International Telecommunications Union/World Bank/Trade Sources
Moreover, there has been fierce interest to enter the network operation market:
Despite the strong growth in mobile phone users, penetration rates remain relatively low in regional terms. The considerable potential for further market growth is, therefore, set to draw aggressive tactics from the three operators:
Source: Euromonitor International from International Telecommunications Union/national statistics.
Mobile phone users are projected to number 34.8 million by 2010, representing 44% of Egypt’s population. This growth will drive the market in both telecoms-related consumer products and the customer base of telecoms operators.
However, further expansion of the market may be slowed by the large rural population, where poverty rates are higher than in urban areas and where network coverage may be difficult and costly to achieve.
The government has meanwhile stated its commitment to further deregulate the sector, whilst the possibility also remains that a fourth mobile phone license may be issued in the future.