By Mohamed Alaa El-Din
Vodafone Egypt will invest nearly EGP 9bn over the next three years, according to its plans in the Egyptian market.
The company believes that there are many investment opportunities in the telecommunications and information technology market, particularly in the field of outsourcing. This motivated the company to establish Vodafone International Services (VIS) in order to offer outsourcing services from Egypt to more than 30 million people in 80 countries around the world, said Essam Ahmed, CEO of Vodafone Egypt.
What is your view of the investment climate in the Egyptian market during this period?
The telecommunications sector is very promising and is able to attract more investments given the economic climate and stability witnessed by Egypt.
What are the main investment opportunities that you can recognise in the Egyptian telecommunications sector?
The outsourcing services field is one of the most important and promising fields in the telecommunications and IT sector, and it offers serious opportunities for investment in the sector.
VIS is one of the most important companies in the field of outsourcing. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Vodafone Egypt, offering call centre services, technological services, information surveys services, and research and campaign management services. It has 3,500 outstanding employees who have a high capacity for innovation to serve 30 million customers in 80 countries around the world.
What is the size of the company’s investments in the Egyptian market this year? What are your plans to increase them during the upcoming period?
The size of Vodafone’s investments in the Egyptian market since it was established reached EGP 30bn. Last year, we announced an investment plan worth EGP 9bn, which extends for three years.
What is the share acquired by the networks sector (maintenance and establishment of new networks) out of the size of your investments?
We have allocated extra investments that amounted to EGP 400m last year for the improvement and development of networks all over the country.
What are the main axes of the company’s strategic plans in Egypt?
Vodafone Egypt’s strategy in the upcoming period is based on paying attention to the development of the network and expanding coverage to provide the best service to our customers in various parts of the country, especially with regards to online services and data transmission.
We also pay special attention to our young customers by offering a package of services that meets the needs of this important sector of the company’s customers.
The Ministry of Communications announced a withdrawal from the idea of creating a national entity for infrastructure. How did this affect your plans in the Egyptian market? What is your view on this step and its effect on the market?
Vodafone always welcomes any initiatives or decisions that will develop the telecommunications sector in Egypt, and we are with any investments in infrastructure. We believe that the quality of the service in the field of mobile services mainly depends on the infrastructure, in addition to the availability of frequencies.
How do you see the development of money transfer services via mobile phone in your company?
The service is developing very positively. The number of users of the Vodafone Cash service reached is more than one million customers who use debit and deposit services through the company’s branches on a daily basis.
How was the company affected by the rules introduced by the National Regulatory Authority (NTRA) for selling phone lines?
We understand very well the importance of this matter and its necessity in terms of state security. We are also fully committed to the instructions of the NTRA in this regard. We will continue to cooperate with all concerned parties in this regard to reach the desired result and complete the database of customers.
Are there negotiations with the Ministry of Communications and the NTRA to lower prices through mobile Internet services? Is there a specific percentage of reduction if there are negotiations?
Vodafone is always eager to provide the best services and prices in order to satisfy its customers. Therefore, we cooperate with all relevant actors in the sector to improve the services provided to our customers.
Lowering prices is linked to the reduction of the costs of renting Internet infrastructure services and from Telecom Egypt.