Orange Egypt applied for a licence to run a 4G network, after not bidding in the country’s auction last month.
Egypt’s telecoms regulator NTRA will deliberate on a request by the operator for a 4G licence until October 23, Reuters reported.
The operator failed to submit a bid at a government auction in September because it did not agree with the terms on offer.
In fact none of the country’s operators, the other two being Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat, put in bids last month. Only fixed incumbent Telecom Egypt acquired a licence for EGP7.08 billion ($797 million) because it wants to enter the mobile market directly.
Last month, Orange explained that it was interested in investing in 4G in Egypt, but believes “the quantity of spectrum currently availed does not allow to launch a 4G service with the required level of quality according to all international standards.”
“We will remain available to discuss the 4G licence further in case a new framework is offered,” it added.
Operator concerns also included the condition that 50 per cent of payments should be made in US dollars.
Orange declined to comment to Mobile World Live about its change in thinking.
Last month NTRA said it will look into other ways of encouraging interest in 4G including an auction for the international market.
Operators like Zain, China Telecom, Saudi Telecom and Lebara KSA have expressed interest.
The auction was part of the Egyptian government’s strategy to reform the telecoms sector and raise dollars.