Vodafone Egypt is seeking to restructure its pricing strategy now that the Egyptian mobile market is reaching saturation. The UK subsidiary, part owned by state enterprise Telecom Egypt is also seeking to invest in value-added services (VAS) to cope with falling average return per user (ARPU) rates.

“We need to readdress our pricing strategy. Users are accessing more data and taking up a lot of the network. We cannot continue to offer unlimited data packages while voice revenues are decreasing,” says John Naguib, Vodafone Egypt’s trend tracking expert for VAS.

A recent report from HC projects a 95 per cent mobile penetration rate by the end of the year and muted growth for the next few years.  New subscribers are expected to be the main source of market growth in 2011. HC anticipates an addition of 1.4 million new subscribers driven by those below nine years of age.

Egypt currently has three mobile operators. Vodafone Egypt has the largest market share with 41 per cent and more than 30.5 million subscribers. Orascom’s Mobinil has a 30 million subscriber base with a 40 per cent market share. The newest entrant Etisalat’s subsidiary has just under 14 million subscribers and a 19 per cent share of the market.

The national regulator has suggested issuing a fourth mobile licence, but this is not expected to happen in the short term.