Egypt's Telecommunications Minister Atef Helmy said on Sunday the country's long awaited unified telecom licence for both mobiles and landlines will be activated within three months.
The licence would allow telecommunication companies to operate fixed-line and mobile networks, which would in turn allow Egypt's fixed-line monopoly Telecom Egypt (Cairo) to offer mobile services.
"The unified telecom licence will be activated before June 30, 2014," Helmy said, speaking at an industry event in Cairo, adding that the Cabinet has approved the licence and that details will be revealed at a news conference on Wednesday.
Egypt's three existing mobile phone service providers are Vodafone Egypt (Newbury, UK), Mobinil (Cairo, Egypt) and Etisalat Egypt (Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates) which have been eating away at Telecom Egypt's fixed-line services as more Egyptians opt to use mobile phones and the internet instead.
Telecom Egypt has been relying on its data business to boost revenue and has been waiting to launch a new mobile operation that would complement its existing joint venture with Vodafone and rival the sector's two other players.
(Reporting by Asma Alsharif Editing by Jeremy Gaunt)