The French company has also signed the first firm order under the new agreement, named Nile Vision Plus. Valued at Eur 62.5 million ($59 million), it entails the supply and installation of 340,000 lines in urban and rural areas of the Delta. The value of the entire programme is estimated at Eur 300 million ($283 million).

Alcatel was one of three companies to sign framework agreements with Telecom Egypt in 1997-98. The others were Lucent Technologiesof the US and Siemensof Germany.

Alcatel is also one of five companies bidding for the contract to supply equipment for Telecom Egypt’s planned GSM system.