Sunday 07 November 2021
The CEO of the company: The infrastructure encouraged us to experience the fifth generation in the capital
Muhammad Abdullah: We have recently completed the construction of 590 portable towers and are ready to build another 250
We study the model of shared towers for mobile networks.. Strengthening the network is important
We offer many services through Vodafone Cash.. and we have invested billions in the fourth generation
Books – Alaa Hajjaj:
Mohamed Abdullah, CEO of Vodafone Egypt, said that the company is conducting technical negotiations with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to launch 5G services experimentally in the new administrative capital.
Abdullah added, in an interview with Masrawy, that the company puts network development at the top of its priority in 2022, as the company built 590 portable towers, in addition to obtaining the approval of the concerned authorities to build another 250 towers and awaiting approvals to build 100 towers.
He stated that Vodafone is currently studying the idea of establishing shared towers and its feasibility for the company and its customers, as strengthening the network in specific areas and investing in building new towers is very important and has a direct impact on customers.
And the text of the conversation:
What is your strategic plan for the next year?
We have several basic axes for the company’s strategy during the coming period, which is to enable the state to achieve digital transformation and financial inclusion by providing technological solutions to support major national projects.
We are also a strategic partner for the state in various national projects, which aim to build a new life for the Egyptian citizen, as we always seek to conclude new partnerships with the public and private sectors to achieve digital transformation, sustainable development goals and Egypt’s Vision 2030.
It is also among our priorities to improve and develop the services provided to customers, especially digital services that facilitate the life of the citizen and help him in his daily tasks, and prepare the network to provide services and solutions that keep pace with technological progress.
So far, Vodafone’s investments in the Egyptian market have amounted to more than 70 billion pounds, including the value of the new frequencies, and we are keen to increase our investments in Egypt while focusing investments in infrastructure and network in line with the state’s vision to implement the digital transformation system.
The company recently invested nearly 8 billion pounds to obtain new frequencies to improve and develop the network and the level of services provided, and we have paid 50% of the value of these frequencies, while the second installment is due in January 2022.
We are seeking to prepare and develop the network for the 2600 band, and we are currently working on developing an optimal readiness strategy for these frequencies.
Vodafone Egypt has also pumped more investments into the network, amounting to nearly 3 billion Egyptian pounds, to prepare the network to use the new frequencies and update the used technology.
How did you face the repercussions of the Corona pandemic during 2020 and 2021?
Despite the effects of the Corona pandemic, the telecommunications market witnessed remarkable economic growth for several reasons, the most important of which is the rapid development in digital infrastructure, which resulted in the signing of agreements for telecom companies to obtain new frequencies, and these frequencies will contribute to raising the level of service quality in the telecommunications sector, which is one of the most important pillars of development economics in Egypt.
The infrastructure of the Administrative Capital represents a major focus attracting investment, which encouraged the company to conduct the fifth generation experiment in the capital in coordination with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority, as the process of activating this experiment will require applications that are the first of its kind to suit its modern standards, which is expected to make a boom in the market the local.
The pandemic demonstrated the importance of communications and information technology, and emphasized the need to invest in supporting digital transformation, as Vodafone took many steps during the pandemic through the “Vodafone Cash” service or other services that were a strong start that pushes other sectors to adopt technological solutions, as well as Vodafone’s success in address challenges.
More than 80% of customer service employees are now providing service from home after the pandemic, which was provided to the fullest.
We have also achieved great success in achieving the process of financial inclusion and money transfer via mobile phone through Vodafone’s electronic wallet “Vodafone Cash”, which acquired 65% of the total number of subscribers of electronic financial wallets, according to the report of the National Communications Authority.
Vodafone is one of the first companies that worked to implement the digital transformation process within its basic strategy, stemming from the company’s belief in the necessity of digitizing various services in order to facilitate the lives of customers.
What is the position of the new frequencies in terms of receiving?
Communication is currently underway with the government to receive the largest share of frequencies in the Egyptian market, which will make a leap in the quality of service by increasing the capacity of the network infrastructure, which will reflect positively on the level of services provided to citizens.
We are working on setting a time plan in cooperation with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority to receive the frequencies, and the company has currently built 590 towers, and it currently has initial approval for about 250 towers, and we are waiting for a response to requests to build nearly 100 other towers.
How does the company see the opportunities to launch fifth generation services in Egypt?
The company is conducting many meetings and discussions with the National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority regarding the launch of the fifth generation technology, and there was an experiment to be held in the New Administrative Capital, and proposals are currently being studied technically with telecom regulators, and we are still in the process of studying and exchanging ideas with the NTRA.
Are there new investments that will be pumped to develop 4G services and increase their penetration?
The company has previously invested more than 9 billion pounds in the network, in order to develop the infrastructure and provide an outstanding quality of service to its customers, in line with the launch of the fourth generation services in Egypt, in addition to the investments of the fourth generation frequencies, which amounted to 335 million dollars.
How does the company see the market orientation towards building shared towers, and what impact does this have on competition?
We are currently studying the idea and its feasibility for Vodafone Egypt and for the company’s customers, as strengthening the network in specific areas and investing in building new towers is very important and directly affects Vodafone customers and their trust in the company and the brand, so the project must be studied and evaluated well before making any decision in this regard. To ensure optimal service provision in the areas most in need of development.
What is the company’s vision for developing mobile money transfer services “Vodafone Cash”?
Vodafone has placed the development of the future of electronic wallets and achieving financial inclusion among the main objectives of the company since 2013, and it was one of the pioneers in planning and developing electronic payment services via mobile phone.
According to statistics, 90% of the financial transactions that take place through electronic wallets are made through “Vodafone Cash.” Vodafone also topped the number of electronic wallets in the Egyptian market, with 65% of the total number of used wallets, for the first half of this year 2021.
The number of electronic transactions carried out using wallets increased by 175% during the same period, reaching 81 million electronic transactions, compared to 29.5 million electronic transactions in the first half of 2020.
The number of “Vodafone Cash” users has reached about 11 million users in Egypt, and one of the distinguished services provided by Vodafone Cash is the pension payment service, in cooperation with the National Organization for Social Insurance and the Ministry of Social Solidarity.
We have also introduced a number of new services through Vodafone Cash, which are transferring from credit cards and purchasing cards to the “Vodafone Cash” wallet, transferring to other wallets for “Vodafone Cash” customers as well, paying bills and paying service dues such as water, electricity and gas, paying any educational expenses, and providing services Donations to various organizations, online shopping and payment.