Egypt cuts international Internet circuit rates by 30%

It's celebration time for Egypt's Internet subscribers as Communications ministry slashes access prices.

Egypt’s Minister of Communications and Information Technology Ahmed Nazif has reduced prices on international calling and Internet bandwidth.

He says it’s yet another move by the MCIT to position the country as a leader on the Internet.

The price cuts will immediately effect the country’s ISPs, with the tariff for international half circuits reduced by 30% for variable speeds reaching 2 Mbits/s for Internet traffic.

The price cuts will then be passed on to subscribers at the discretion of the ISPs.

Business Complaints

It is not the first time the minister has cut international half circuits tariffs. Meeting complaints from Egypt’s Internet businesses, one of his first moves after he was appointed last year was to reduce the same tariff with 50 percent.

Then, prior to the first cut, the price for international bandwidth was $50.000 per month.

In September it will be $18.000 per month.

As a result of the lowered prices of international bandwidth, the Minister also announced that Internet access that is paid per minute via the regular phone bill (instead of pre-paid subscriptions with an ISP) will be cut as of October 1.

The per-minute tariff for the use of this 900-code Internet access via the intelligent network will be reduced by 50%. This brings the cost down to ten piastres instead of 20 piastres during day use.

International Bandwidth

So far, Egypt’s ISPs have not announced any reductions in subscription rates, although the cost for international bandwidth is as good as always cited as the reason for the high prices.

Compared with many European countries, Internet access via an ISP is prohibitively expensive in Egypt, where a monthly flat-rate account starts at LE 50 per month, or almost $15. That’s what users in for example Sweden would pay per year.

Minister Nazif recently told that he will not be happy until the monthly charges for Internet access are down to LE 20.

Telecom Egypt, he said, is working on a business plan that will allow Internet access “almost for free.”

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