Telecom Egypt, the state-controlled fixed line telecom operator is in talks with banks to secure £E5bn ($563.07 million) loan to acquire a 4G wireless network licence, news agency Reuters cited banking sources as saying.

Etisalat Egypt, a unit of the UAE’s largest telecom operator Etisalat is also in talks with banks for a loan of same amount to back its bid for the licence, Reuters reported without giving further details on the number of banks involved in the talks or when a deal is expected.

The sale of a 4G licences is part of the government’s plans to reform the telecommunications sector, in which, Telecom Egypt has a monopoly on landline services. Several regional and international telecom firms including the Saudi Telecom, Kuwait’s Zain, China Telecom and a European firm have expressed interest in bidding for the 4G licence in the most populous Arab nation.