Telephone, telegraph, radio and television services are operated by the state-owned Telecommunication Organisation. In 2003, there were an estimated 127 mainline telephones for every 1,000 people; about 99,500 people were on a waiting list for telephone service installation. The same year, there were approximately 84 mobile phones in use for every 1,000 people. Currently, there are three companies which offer cellular communication service: Mobinil, Vodafone Egypt and Etisalat Egypt. These companies are providing services surpassing voice communication such as 3G and 3.75G services.
Radio in Egypt is almost all government controlled, using 44 short-wave frequencies, 18 medium-wave stations, and four FM stations. There are seven regional radio stations covering the country. Egyptian Radio transmits 60 hours daily overseas in 33 languages and three hundred hours daily within Egypt. In 2000, Radio Cairo introduced new specialised channels on its FM station. So far, they include news, music and sports. Radio enjoys more freedom than TV in its news programs, talk shows and analysis.
Starting 2003, Nile Radio Production a private company was given licence to operate two radio stations, Nile FM and Nogoom FM. Nile FM broadcasts in English and Nogoom FM broadcasts in Arabic. Both stations mostly broadcast mainly to the Greater Cairo region. In the early 2009, Radio Masr was launched, broadcasting popular Egyptian songs, news & other programs.
Egyptian ground-broadcast television (ERTU) is government controlled and depends heavily on commercial revenue. ETV sells its specially produced programs and soap operas to the entire Arab world. ETV has two main channels, six regional channels, and three satellite channels. Of the two main channels, Channel I uses mainly Arabic, while Channel II is dedicated to foreigners and more cultured viewers, broadcasting news in English and French as well as Arabic.
Egyptian Satellite channels broadcast to the Middle East, Europe, and the U.S. East Coast. In April 1998, Egypt launched its own satellite known as NileSat 101. Seven specialised channels cover news, culture, sports, education, entertainment, health and drama. A second, digital satellite, Nilesat 102, was launched in August 2000. Many of its channels are rented to other stations.
Three new private satellite-based TV stations were launched in November 2001, marking a great change in Egyptian government policy. Dream TV 1 and 2 produce cultural programming, broadcast contemporary video clips and films featuring Arab and international actors, as well as soap operas; another private station focuses on business and general news. Both private channels transmit on NileSat.
In addition to Egyptian programming, the Middle East Broadcast Company, a Saudi television station transmitting from London (MBC), Arab Radio and Television (ART), Al-Jazeera television, and other Gulf stations as well as Western networks such as CNN and BBC, provide access to more international programs to Egyptians who own satellite receivers.
The internet companies market is dealt to two: infrastructure providers and service providers. There are five infrastructure companies, namely Raya, NileOnline, TEData, EGYNet and LINKdotNET.
There are eight major service providers which sell their services to smaller ISPs. The highest available speed through ADSL technologies was upgraded to 8MB in download in February 2008 and then to 24MB later that year. The Egyptian ISP market is fully liberalized and highly competitive, at least in Cairo and Alexandria, with over 220 ISPs offering a range of services, including dedicated, dial-up, pre-paid and premium services. With the introduction of ADSL for homes and businesses, more subscribers are introduced into the market. It is expected that by the end of 2010 high-speed Internet access will be available across the entire country.
Orascom, one of the shareholders in the leading cellular operator MobiNil, is also the biggest player in the Internet service provision market and owns 75 per cent of Egypt’s largest ISP, LINKdotNET. The tie-up with the mobile operator is significant in that WAP services were introduced in May for a trial period, making Egypt one of the first countries in Africa to have introduced WAP.
NileOnline and Egynet has been recently sold to Etisalat, increasing Etisalat access into the broadband market. with this acquisition all class I tier ISPs mentioned above are owned by the major telecommunication companies operating in the country.
Raya is owned by Vodafone Egypt, Nileonline and Egynet are now owned by Etisalat, TEdata is owned and operated by the oldest telecom company in the region telecom Egypt and link.net is owned by Orascom telecom.
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