Thanks to a heavy private sector presence and sizable domestic demand, Egypt’s telecommunications sector has seen immense growth in its subscriber base. Although average revenue per user is low compared to other regional markets – at roughly one-third that of Morocco and one-quarter that of Jordan – affordability and improved features and services have helped drive penetration up to 112%, or 92.44m people, by the end of June 2012. Crucially, data is playing a growing role in boosting revenues.
Egypt’s information technology industry has also emerged as an impressive regional player, employing more than 215,000 people across 4700 registered companies, with an issued capital of $7.61bn. The country has seen strong double-digit growth year-on-year in terms of internet penetration, with 31.21m users by the end of June 2012. Access is still uneven although mobile usage is helping improve rural accessibility. Crucially, content and services – particularly in terms of e-commerce and e-government, as well as back-office outsourcing – has been growing, and the government has pushed to boost value addition through innovation incubators.
This chapter features a dialogue with Hatem Dowidar, CEO, Vodafone-Egypt; and Yves Gauthier, CEO, Mobinil.