Kuwaiti's Zain interested in Egypt 4G license: ministry official

CAIRO (Reuters) - Kuwaiti mobile operator Zain has expressed interest in applying for a fourth-generation license in Egypt, a senior telecommunications ministry official said on Sunday.

The sale of 4G licenses is part of Egypt’s long-awaited plan to reform the telecoms sector.

Its telecoms regulator has approached the three current mobile service providers, Orange Egypt, Vodafone Egypt, and Etisalat, about potentially buying 4G licences.

The current operators have until the first week of August to submit applications for a 4G license.

Communications Minister Yasser al-Kadi told Reuters in June that Egypt would offer 4G licences in an international auction if the existing carriers were not interested.

The senior telecoms ministry official said Zain, which operates in eight countries in the Middle East and Africa, had sent a letter expressing its interest.

“Zain sent us a letter showing desire to enter the Egyptian market through 4G licenses with the set conditions put forward by the government,” the official said, declining to be named.

Zain declined to comment.

Reporting by Ehab Farouk; writing by Ola Noureldin; editing by Lin Noueihed and Jason Neely