For the first time in several years, Orange Egypt Telecommunication is moving towards profitability by the end of this year after suffering consecutive losses.
Yasser Shaker, CEO and Director of the company, said that the data transfer services will represent half of the company’s total revenues during the next year, compared to 40% of revenues in the current year. He added that the company invested about EGP 4bn in 2019 and directed 90% of these investments towards improving the network and service quality. The same amount is expected to be invested in 2020 after the global group approved the new budget in December.
It is noteworthy that Orange Egypt achieved revenues of EGP 3.8bn during the third quarter of this year, equivalent to €211m, compared to €195m during the same period in 2018
He pointed out that the number of subscribers of 4G services at the Orange network ranges between 45% and 50% of the number of users of data transfer service, which amounts to six million subscribers of the fourth generation.
He pointed out that 70% of Orange Mobile Towers are currently using 4G technology, noting that the company’s strategy is based on improving the quality of the communication network, expanding digital transformation services, and increasing the community role.
In a related context, he hinted that the company allied with the Arab Organisation for Industrialisation (AOI) and other companies, including Mwasalat Misr and Fawry, in order to provide technology services to operate electric buses across the country.
He also stressed that the company will operate Wi-Fi services in buses install mobile payment services for the value of subscriptions allocated to buses. Besides, he noted that the first phase of the project includes about 200 buses to begin the system within a period of three to six months.
On a separate note, Shaker said that the company is considering two projects in line with the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) office during the next year. The first includes providing internet services to schools, while the second is in the field of education in mobile money transfer services through Orange Cash.
As for the field of CSR, he noted that during 2019 Orange implemented several initiatives, including “Orange Community Schools”. It aims to develop and modernise seven schools in six governorates during the first phase, including Aswan, Sohag, and Assiut. It has opened a call centre in Assiut, which contributed to providing 400 jobs and 1000 training opportunities
In addition, Shaker revealed the company’s readiness to activate an agreement signed with eFinance, the company operating the Egyptian government financial network, on the sidelines of the Cairo Information and Communications Technology (ICT) exhibition and conference 2019. The agreement is on the financial portfolio used to pay university and school expenses as well as water, electricity, and traffic bills, with a targeted plan to pay pensions and pay taxes through the e-wallet.
He predicted that the number of subscribers will not increase significantly during the next year, but he is betting on an increase data transfer services and Orange Cash, noting that Orange Cash service in the Middle East and Africa (MENA) represents about 10% of the total revenues of the global group.
The MENA region accounted for less than 15% of Orange’s global revenue, which owns Orange Business Services for managing digital services in 19 countries around the world. He pointed out that the company contributes to transferring $40bn funds through Orange Cash in Africa annually, which is an equivalent of seven to eight times its revenue generated by the continent.
Regarding the 5G technology, he said that the 5G services’ application needed time to be used in a practical way.
Regarding 5G technology, he said that it would need some time for people to find its practical use. Moreover, the local market introduced 4G services only two years ago and needs more time to make the most use of 4G technology before 5G technology takes over.
Shaker said that the return of Orange Egypt to the Egyptian Exchange (EGX) is not currently on the table. He explained that the decision is up to the general assembly of the company, but stressed that it does not need funding in light of the availability of credit facilities from eight banks worth EGP 7bn that have not been fully used.
Orange Egypt was one of the companies addressed by EGX in September 2017 for not meeting one or more of the conditions of compliance with the registration rules of the conditions of free-float shares, as the rules stipulate that the percentage of free-float shares must not be less than 5%, which is less than 1% for Orange Egypt. The company was given a grace period until May 2018 to comply with the registration rules before being delisted.
On another note, Shaker welcomed the country’s trend to rely on mobile companies to extend the telecommunication’s infrastructure for national projects, including the New Administrative Capital. According to Orange Group, the number of Orange Egypt customers reached 28.3 million by the end of September 2019, compared to 28.5 million by the end of June.
He pointed out that the company is continuously seeking to develop the customer experience through the sales outlets spread throughout the country. He also stated that his company is considered the best network in Egypt based on the measurements of International Speed Test for internet speed measurement, pointing out its intention to launch free internet services in schools, universities, and youth centres.