Egypt: Value Added Services (VAS) And Licenses: Egyptian Regulations

Last Updated: 8 May 2018
Article by Youssry Saleh & Partners

The VAS services are services that are based on the content or format of the information that has changed in the content or body of the information it adds value to or provides integration between it and other services from Operational and/or administrative aspects, or those services that involve user interaction with stored information data.

The Egyptian market has witnessed a tremendous growth in the subscriber base in recent years. With a transformation of a mobile phone from a simple communication tool into an extremely powerful information and entertainment tool, mobile operators around the world are now turning from voice services to value added and data services, and Egypt is no exception. Where the value added services subscriber base in Egypt was expected to increase at an annual growth of 8.46% reaching 93.5%. As mentioned in the studies made for determining the VAS presentation, Egypt had a VAS presentation of 77% and was likely to increase reaching 92% in 2017 and according to a Sullivan Report on the Mobile VAS Market in Egypt, VAS revenues were likely to reach US$3.8 billion in 2017, while VAS and data services will contribute over 50% of the overall operators' revenues in Egypt.

The aforementioned increase in the subscriber base in the recent years was the direct cause of affordability, innovative and price-competitive services offered by the mobile operators. VAS Services including – for example, Text messages (Bulk SMS), video, images, and interactive services, where such services do not include telecommunications services such as voice-over services or access to the Internet.

One of the aforementioned VAS services, is the Bulk SMS which is intended to provide a service to customers for sending a certain text of one content to a number of end users in a specified period using SMS messages from licensed networks to provide mobile phone services within the Arab Republic of Egypt and to provide a service to customers to send a text to a single end user individually Using SMS messages from licensed networks operators/companies in Egypt.

Governing law and the official body responsible for regulating telecommunication services in Egypt including VAS services

The governing law for the telecommunication services in Egypt including VAS services is law No. 10 of the year 2003 on Regulation of Telecommunications, where the official body responsible for regulating the telecommunications sector in the Arab Republic of Egypt is the National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) which ensures that the needs of individuals, enterprises, companies and various sectors of the State are met, while encouraging investment in this sector on non-monopolistic foundations, on the basis of free and open competition between the best international and national experts.

The National Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (NTRA) at the start of year 2018 has issued and imposed the VAS services including the Bulk SMS license for some reasons, some of which is to implement the established policy for the development and diffusion of telecommunications of all types, in line with the development of communication technology, where it ensures that the needs of individuals, enterprises, companies and various sectors of the State – productivity and economy are met.

It is also encouraging investment in the communication sector on non-monopolistic basis, free and open competition between the best international and national experts, and in a manner, that ensures publicity and transparency of information, universal service and user rights protection.

Difficulties and procedures for obtainment of the VAS and Bulk SMS licenses

There are some procedures that should be followed by the person seeking  obtainment of the VAS licenses and services and practicing such activities, some of which are considered as forming obstacles for the licensee where they are shrinking the frame of practicing such activities.

  • Some of the aforementioned procedures is that the Licensee shall obtain the prior written consent of the Licensor for any service of the Value Added Services, before providing them to the users;
  • He shall connect his system with the authorized provider of the mobile services through (Virtual private networks) through one of the authorized companies to provide such services. The licensee is also obliged to adopt all required procedures to provide the required information of all parts of the system;
  • The licensee shall obtain all the required procedures and the institutional and technical steps needed to protect the confidentiality of the information related to the users, the clients and the movement on the network of the Licensee.

In case of providing the service of the Bulk SMS to users, the licensee is obliged to be the sending agent for SMS or MMS messages within the Arab Republic of Egypt; and shall undertake not to transmit international messages (originating outside the Arab Republic of Egypt) to the Arab Republic of Egypt using SMS or MMS services that the licensee sends to end-user within the Arab Republic of Egypt, he also is responsible for showing the name of the entity that sends the messages to all the end users. The licensee shall also send the name of the entity sending the messages preceded by the code EGY in all the messages sent to the mobile service providers before sending them to the end-user.

One of the obstacles that may face the entity seeking for practicing such services, is that the request for obtainment of such licenses may be rejected by the NTRA due to lack of sufficient experience in the telecommunication sector to the extent that makes him able to obtain such license.

As concluded from the aforementioned, mobile marketing is one of the most important matters whether in Egypt or in any country worldwide and one of the aspects that should be highly regulated, where such way of marketing depends on the mobile network user's personal data which are considered confidential and not anyone could be allowed to have access for such data, but if we compared the way of regulating such services in Egypt to other countries' regulation we will notice that there are some gaps that are not covered concerning such regulations in Egypt. Taking UK as an example where SMS text messaging is one of the highly regulated issues. There is a recently amended Data Protection Act (2008) issued in UK which provides the regulations and framework that govern the unsolicited marketing messages whether for political, charity or commercial purposes and aspects, such office works depends on strict data protection legislation related to the use of personal data. One of restrictions is that an organization that sends marketing messages to any person must stop sending those messages when such person objects or opts-out from receiving them, where the most common way used worldwide to stop receiving such messages is to send a "STOP" message to a message. Therefore, telecommunication sectors and authorities of Egypt have a room for improvement of the legislative framework, and specifically in relation to confidentiality of the users' data matters and to putting a more secure system for the VAS services. 

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Authors
 
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Related Topics
 
Related Articles
 
Up-coming Events Search
Tools
Print
Font Size:
Translation
Channels
Mondaq on Twitter
 
Mondaq Free Registration
Gain access to Mondaq global archive of over 375,000 articles covering 200 countries with a personalised News Alert and automatic login on this device.
Mondaq News Alert (some suggested topics and region)
Select Topics
Registration (please scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.

Disclaimer

The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.

General

Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions