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Thu 8 May 2008 11:51 AM

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Egypt postpones bid deadline for fixed-line licence

Deadline pushed back as local connectivity deal negotiations still ongoing.

Egypt's telecoms regulator said on Wednesday it had postponed the bid deadline for Egypt's second fixed-line licence to July 29 as local connectivity agreements negotiations were still ongoing."We are now negotiating with the three mobile providers in light of their new promotional offers, so the issuance of a connectivity draft agreement will be delayed to June 8," Amr Badawy, chairman of the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA), said in a statement.

"So the deadline for bids will be postponed to July 29," he added.

The deadline for bidding for the licence, which will end state-run Telecom Egypt's fixed-line monopoly, had previously been set for June 19.

Badawy added that the number of companies showing interest in the licence had risen to 12 but did not give any names.

Egyptian daily Al Alam Al Youm reported in April that telecom equipment maker Ericsson and two Gulf Arab telecom firms had bought the conditions booklet.

Other companies that expressed interest in the licence include France Telecom, Orascom Telecom, Egypt's Alkan, Egypt's Giza Systems, Abu Dhabi-based Etisalat, Saudi's Atheeb group, Alcatel-Lucent and Kuwaiti investment firm Noor Financial Company.

Competing companies should have a base of at least 500,000 subscribers and minimum revenues of $500 million a year, according to the NTRA. (Reuters)

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