The National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) was due to publish the tender documents in January, but will not do so now until March at the earliest.

The NTRA’s senior managers are debating whether to open the Egyptian fixed-line market to much greater competition by allowing foreign operators to have access to Telecom Egypt’s existing network.

Different committees at the regulator are examining rival proposals for issuing a new licence.

The least radical proposal is to award a licence to build a new fixed-line telecoms network in Egypt. The alternative is to open the market by giving several companies permission to use Telecom Egypt’s fixed-line network at guaranteed low prices.