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Cablegate: Egypt: Post Submission for Section 1377 Telecom

VZCZCXYZ0015
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHEG #0121/01 0241503
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 241503Z JAN 08
FM AMEMBASSY CAIRO
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 7965
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHDC

UNCLAS CAIRO 000121

SIPDIS

SIPDIS

DEPARTMENT FOR NEA/ELA AND EB/CIP/BA
COMMERCE FOR OBERG
USTR FOR HINCKLEY

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECPS ECON ETRD USTR EG
SUBJECT: EGYPT: POST SUBMISSION FOR SECTION 1377 TELECOM
TRADE AGREEMENTS 2008 REVIEW

REF SECSTATE 3689

1. We provide the below responses from the Government of
Egypt to reftel concerns for the Section 1377 Telecom
Trade Agreements 2008 Review.

Satellite Services
------------------

2. For all questions on licenses for satellite services,
National Telecommunications and Regulatory Authority
(NTRA) Executive President Dr. Amr Badawi refered us to
information on the NTRA web site. The regulations for
Inmarsat licenses are at http://www.tra.gov.eg/english/
DPages_DPagesDetails.asp?ID=257&Menu=1 and for VSAT
licenses are at http://www.tra.gov.eg/english/
DPages_DPagesDetails.asp?ID=258&Menu=1. The procedures,
conditions, and rules for general telecommunications
services licensing are at http://www.tra.gov.eg/english/
DPages_DPagesDetails.asp?ID=241&Menu=1.

3. NTRA Economic and Regulatory Affairs Sector Head
Mahmoud El Gowini provided the following answers to
reftel specific questions on satellite licensing:

Q: What are the rules under which an Egyptian telecom
licensee can have access to and/or contract directly with
a foreign satellite operator? If these are public, could
you provide a copy to us or provide us with a web-site
link? Must other users (e.g. banks, broadcasters) have a
telecom license to operate a satellite dish?

A: Egyptian Telecom Licensees can have access to and/or
contract directly with foreign satellite operators. Since
they are already licensed they need not come back to the
NTRA. Broadcasting according to the current rules is the
prerogative of the Radio and Television Union. Satellite
News Gathering (SNG) services are given timely permits to
operate and those permits are renewable upon request.

Q: What is the process for a foreign satellite operator
to petition to have its satellite capacity "approved" by
the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority
(NTRA)? If this process is embodied in a regulation or
rule, can you provide us with a copy?

A: Satellite operators submit a request to the NTRA to
receive a license. The request must show all technical
specs, coverage, bandwidth and applications. The NTRA
will study the request, obtain clearance on the operator,
confirm availability of required frequencies, a license
is then granted. In the very near future the process will
be shown with elaboration on our web site.

Time For License Application Processing
---------------------------------------

4. Regarding the question on the normal time required to
process an application, the NTRA did not have a
substantive response.

Voice over Internet Protocol
----------------------------

5. NTRA Vice President for Policies and International
Cooperation Olfat Abd El Monsef provided the following
answers to reftel specific questions on Voice over
Internet Protocol (VoIP) licensing:

Q: What rules, if any, govern the provision of VoIP
services in Egypt? Are these publicly available and may
we have a copy or can you give us the link to a web-site
where they are available?

A: Licenses and regulations in Egypt are based on
technology-neutral principles. VoIP is considered as a
technology and therefore any licensed operator in Egypt
is allowed to use VoIP to provide the licensed services.
As for the general rules governing VoIP services
provision, VoIP usage for private use (PC to PC) is
allowed without any license or registration. Licensed
Class A and Class B data service providers are licensed
to provide domestic VPN services to their customers using
VoIP.

Q: Does the incumbent operator offer VOIP? Do any other
companies, including foreign companies?

A: Currently the incumbent operator is offering voice
services using VoIP technology - along with other
technologies ? to provide international voice services as
it is licensed to provide these services. Mobile
operators are allowed to use VoIP technology as well for
the provision of international voice services if they
acquire the required international gateway license (one
of the mobile operators has already been granted this
license).

Q: If publicly available, please provide us with copies
of any authorizations or licenses which have been granted
for VoIP services.

A: NTRA is opening the competition in fixed networks;
this license will include international voice services
(international gateway) where VoIP is allowed. An RFP for
the fixed voice services will be announced within the
first quarter of 2008. National and foreign companies
and consortiums are welcome to apply.

Ricciardone

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