The National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) has redistributed the 4G frequency bands among mobile operators after the three companies refused to bid for the licence in September, calling for negotiations with the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology and NTRA officials.
According to the terms rejected by mobile companies, Orange and Vodafone were to obtain 7.5 MHz each, while Etisalat was to receive 10 MHz, in addition to 15 MHz for Telecom Egypt (TE). The offered bands total 40 MHz.
After the companies rejected the agreement, NTRA initiated new talks. The result was that Orange and Etisalat received 10 MHz each and Vodafone obtained only 5 MHz.
Moreover, NTRA was able to increase the price for the licences from $1.93bn on 22 September to $1.98bn on 13 October.
The redistribution of frequency bands made Orange the biggest winner, getting 10 MHz for $484m ($48.4m per 1 MHz), which is $4.7m per MHz less than the old price.
Hence, Orange obtained more frequency bands than it was offered before 22 September (7.5 MHz for $398.6m).
On the other hand, Vodafone lost the most. The old conditions gave Vodafone 7.5 MHz for $398.6m with a MHz price of $53.1m.
After the redistribution, Vodafone only got 5 MHz at a price of $335m, putting a tag of $67m on each MHz—$13.9m per MHz more than the old price, even with 2.5 MHz less.
As for Etisalat, the company will get 10 MHz for $535.5m instead of $512.5m, increasing the price of the bandwidth from $51.25m per MHz to $53.5 MHz.
TE obtained the 4G licence for EGP 5.5bn and 15 MHz in bandwidth, in addition to EGP 2.2bn for the licence itself, leaving the price of bands at $626.4m and MHz price of $41.7m.