An official source at the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) said that a new stamp tax—for the development of financial resources—is being studied regarding new mobile phone lines sold at EGP 50 per line.
The plan is currently being discussed for approval by parliament.
According to the official, the new tax will be applied during the new fiscal year (FY) 2018/2019. A mobile line after the application of the tax will cost EGP 70.
On the other hand, the official explained that starting from next March, the sale of all mobile lines will be stopped except through official outlets of mobile operators Vodafone, Orange, and Etisalat.
It will also allow the sale of lines through major entities that have a series of commercial outlets collaborating with mobile companies.
A number of telecom operators in Egypt have proposed the formation of a joint commercial economic entity entailing the establishment of 100 stores distributed geographically across Egypt and to be accredited by the four telecom operators. The main tasks of these shops would be to sell mobile lines.
These outlets will also sell various accessories for mobile devices and mobile phones, all of which comes on the back of the prevention of selling mobile lines outside the outlets of the four companies during the next three months.
The telecom market is currently experiencing a crisis due to the NTRA decision to limit the volume of sales of lines and the replacement of SIM cards by 50 lines or a slice per month per store.
The Communications Centres Division and Mobile Dealers at the Giza Chamber of Commerce announced that it had rejected the NTRA’s decision to limit sales or replacement of cards for each authorised distributor to 50 lines per month.
The division demanded reconsideration of the decision as it causes harm to traders in the sector. The mobile market is suffering from a recession during the current period, which means that the sale and replacement of mobile lines has become a major operation for traders in these distribution centres.