Egypt’s telecoms regulator has taken several key steps towards a more competitive market in mobile and fixed-line telecoms.

With effect from 1 January, Egypt’s three mobile phone operators will have to charge the same rates for calls to land lines as they do for calls to rival mobile phone networks.

For example, Mobinil, which is jointly owned by France Telecom and Egypt-based Orascom Telecom, will charge its customers the same rate for calls to land lines operated by Telecom Egypt as it charges for calls to mobiles operated by Vodafone Egypt or Etisalat Misr – the Egyptian subsidiaries of the UK’s Vodafone and the UAE’s Etisalat respectively.

In a 31 December statement, the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority said that the operators had to offer the same rates for calls to different networks.

The regulator also said that operators needed to give it just 24 hours’ notice of new promotions. The authority banned the operators from using promotions to sell services at a loss.