An official in Telecom Egypt said that he was worried his company would repeat the mistakes it had made while installing the multi-service access node (MSAN) during the past two years, as it did not lead to improvement in any landline or internet network. Many customers had been outraged because their phone numbers were changed to no avail.
The source added that the company relies on mobile services and the 4G licence to increase its revenues and profits, especially as it became an integrated operator. The company should avoid the mistakes of the past.
He pointed out that 4G is the subsequent development of 3G mobile service technology. It will increase the speed of data transfer as it uses the packet switching system. However, it cannot solely transfer sound. This needs another system called circuit switching. Telecom Egypt cannot by itself offer voice services, forcing it to cooperate with mobile operators through trade agreements known as national roaming.
According to the terms of the 4G licence signed by Telecom Egypt last week, the company will offer mobile services as a default operator. The official noted that this system is full of flaws and risks for Telecom Egypt, notably that the company will be affiliated with another competing company in the market, due to the national roaming agreement. This means that Telecom Egypt will not be able to offer high quality services like the other mobile operators which will provide Telecom Egypt with mobile services. In addition, Telecom Egypt will not be a real mobile operator, but rather serve as a commission collector.
The official suggested that Telecom Egypt use another system called voice over long term evolution (VOLTE) to be an integrated mobile operator. This technology converts audio signals into packets similar to the internet signal, merges them, and sends them via a single network.
According to the official, the VOLTE system has many advantages as it will combine 4G and voice services, and will relieve Telecom Egypt from depending on competing mobile operators. Additionally, the company will not have to build a special network for voice services.
On the other hand, the VOLTE system has a number of defects, notably that the customers will need to use advanced mobile phones, and the new system will cost Telecom Egypt a lot of money, given it’s a new technology.