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Egyptian Network Providers Share Willingness to Expand Services to Gaza


In response to the disruption of connectivity in the Gaza Strip on Friday, telecom providers in Egypt shared that they were prepared to provide telecommunications services to the besieged area.

On Saturday, Telecoms Vodafone Egypt, Etisalat Misr, and Orange Egypt expressed their readiness to expand their coverage to the area after Gaza suffered a mass blackout of all telecommunications services as Israeli troops advanced into the northern part of the Strip.

Internet-access advocacy group NetBlocks.org, one of the first organizations to reveal that Gaza’s communications were cut off, has shared that internet connectivity was gradually being restored on the strip on Sunday at around 6 AM Cairo Time.

During a video interview on Saturday, a Vodafone Egypt official shared that the company is prepared to send mobile cell towers to the Egyptian border city of Rafah. The towers are capable of covering up to 10km within the Strip if operated at maximum power, he said.

The official pointed out that the company would not move ahead with deployment without coordination between Egypt and Palestinian parties, the official explained, adding that Vodafone has five mobile towers ready to be delivered to the border.

Etisalat Misr, as reported by local media citing sources, is willing to offer its services to those in the Strip through existing towers and mobile towers. The source clarified that Etisalat is in contact with Egypt’s National Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (NTRA) to coordinate and obtain any required approvals.

In a separate media report, sources revealed that Orange Egypt was in discussion with the NTRA on expanding its service coverage to reach the Strip.

With confirmation of the communications blackout on Friday, social media users swamped platforms with calls to Egyptian networks to extend their coverage to Gaza. International aid groups have shared concern, stating that they have been unable to communicate with teams in the area.

In the past week, around 80 trucks carrying humanitarian aid crossed into Gaza from Egypt, explained the United Nations Relief and Works Agency on Sunday. Deliveries of aid were interrupted on Saturday, with the UN agency explaining that it was “not able to communicate with the different parties to coordinate the passage of the convoy”.

Source: Egypt Today

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