Egypt has adopted a seven-year, EGP 5bn national plan to develop the communication sector and bring communication services to remote areas, according to Minister of Communication and Information Technology Atef Helmy.
In a Sunday interview on CBC satellite channel, Helmy said an entity would be established, with the contribution of the public and private sectors, to develop the infrastructure of the communication sector.
Internet services in Egypt are currently “insufficient” due to heavy loads on the country’s communication infrastructure, Helmy said, noting that mobile service subscribers number 98 million, while high speed internet lines amount to 2.6 million, equivalent to 4 communication lines for each citizen.
“The unavailability of a proper infrastructure system is the sector’s main problem,” said Helmy, with state spending on communication infrastructure not having exceeded EGP 4bn for the last few years.
Egypt needs greater investments in this sector, he stressed, but due to the instability of the transitional period, the sector has failed to see any private investment for the past three years.
During the interview, Helmy also said that the total value of investments in the government’s high-speed internet plan, underway since December, will record EGP 45bn within seven years.
In February, thousands of Egyptians backed by “The Internet Revolution” initiative, decided in February not to pay their monthly internet subscriptions to protest poor service and high prices.
The aim of the initiative, which is “liked” by around 484,000 Facebook users, is to increase speeds, reduce the price of internet access and restructure communication centres all over Egypt.