Egyptian agents of international mobile companies have allocated 5% of their sales since last July to activate a unified system to combat mobile smuggle locally, according to Ehab Medhat, Vice Chairperson of Tradeline, the agent of Apple phones in Egypt.
During a round table held by Tradeline on Wednesday evening, Mdhat said that the National Telecom Regulatory Authority (NTRA) decision to prohibit entry of mobile devices to Egypt unless through official agents will contribute to regulating the local market significantly.
In the middle of last year, the NTRA notified mobile companies to impose 5% fees on imported phones. The NTRA will use the collected fees in financing its efforts to combat mobile smuggling.
He added that since the announcement of the decision, the market witnessed more than 50% decline in smuggled phones into Egypt. According to Medhat, smuggled mobile devices previously accounted for about 70% of the local phone market.
The new anti-smuggling system recognises and interrupts smuggled mobile devices when they operate in Egypt for the first time.
Medhat noted that mobile devices that were smuggled into the country previously will operate normally, but rather the decision will be applied to new devices when activated.
A fine will be imposed on smuggled fines from now on according to the price of the phone, and the user will pay it through mobile operators for the benefit of the NTRA, or the relevant government agencies.
The size of the mobile phone market in Egypt is EGP 40bn annually, with more than 18 million phones sold annually through official channels.
Tradeline has officially launched the XPRS store chain in Egypt, and allocated EGP 50m investments to expand the chain across the country.