CAIRO,(Reuters) – More than 80 percent of Egyptians will start 2011 with mobile telephones, according to latest official figures which showed cell phone subscriptions grew by nearly a quarter during the year.
A state website said subscriptions as of October were 65.488 million, a rise of more than 12.5 million, or 23.6 percent from a year earlier. Egypt is the Arab world’s most populous country, with about 79 million people.
In October 2009, Egypt’s three mobile operators — Etisalat Egypt, Mobinil and Vodafone Egypt — had 52.978 million subscribers.
The head of the telecoms regulator told Reuters in July that Egypt was looking into options for a fourth mobile licence, including a virtual network.
State-owned landline monopoly Telecom Egypt has expressed interest in a new licence.