United Arab Emirates telecommunications provider Etisalat has launched a new mobile phone network in Egypt to rival the existing providers Vodafone and Mobinil. Operating over a 3.5G platform, the $1.2 billion network currently covers Greater Cairo, Alexandria, Aswan, Sharm El Sheikh, Hurghada and Luxor. Negotiations are also underway with Vodafone and Mobinil to establish roaming services for customers in areas without network cover. The new provider offers prepaid and postpaid services and facilities include high-speed mobile internet access, mobile television and video phone calls.

Over 20 million Egyptians out of a total population of 72.6 million have a mobile phone. Until now the market has been split fairly evenly between Vodafone and Mobinil, but Etisalat has said it expects to have three million subscribers by the end of 2007 and ten million in the first three years.