By Mohamed Fawzy
The board of the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) called for a meeting to put the final touches on launching the Virtual License for cellular carriers, which allows new cellular network providers to enter the market fully depending on the pre-existing infrastructure
Dr Amr Badawy, CEO of NTRA, said that the governing body will meet to discuss several issues regarding the Virtual License launch, noting that the meeting will cover the license’s conditions and appropriate time of launch.
Badawy supported the decision to appoint Hany Mahmoud as the Minister of Communications and Information Technology, particularly because he possesses a respectable background regarding virtual licensing. He noted that Mahmoud is an experienced member of NTRA’s governing body, and that he will assume its leadership now that he has been appointed minister.
The Ministry of Communications (MOC) put in place new regulations to reorganise the market in preparation for launching the virtual license. The license will be presented to mobile services without an infrastructure to prevent possible conflicts between service providers after the processes of launching and licensing.
Regulations included a reasonable price to be charged on the virtual company for using the main network’s channels, in addition to facilitating agreements between parties without interference from the NTRA. In addition, in case of conflict, the issue is raised to the NTRA, which will pass a binding decision to be enforced even in the case of one of the parties objecting, and until an ultimate legislative verdict is issued.
Badawy added that the appointed committee is continuing its operations in setting the condition of virtual licensing, expecting that the committee will end its work shortly.
The NTRA, which is headed by Dr Mohamed Salem, former Minister of Communications, agreed last May to launch the virtual license in order to increase competitiveness among mobile services providers. The competitiveness is expected to benefit mobile subscribers despite the wide objections from the current providers.