Global Telecom Holding began as Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH), a member of the Orascom group of companies established in 1976. Orascom initially entered the field of information technology and telecommunications by trading and distributing equipment in Egypt. It eventually became the market leader acting as a regional representative for the most important names in this sector including Microsoft, Hewlett Packard, Compaq, IBM, Lucent Technologies (AT&T), Oracle, and Novell.

Orascom continued to build upon its solid foundation in 1994 by acquiring an interest in Egypt's first internet service provider, InTouch, marking its first step in offering services. As the communications sector in Egypt began to be privatized in the following years, Orascom continued to add more service companies to its portfolio. It participated in a joint venture that was awarded Egypt's first license for VSAT technology as well as acted as a lead member of the consortium formed to create Egypt's first private telephone network.

In 1997, Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) was established as e separate entity to consolidate the telecommunications and technology interests of the Orascom family of countries led by its controlling shareholders the Sawiris family. The new organization quickly proved itself as an IT and telecom leader by becoming Egypt's only company to hold licenses in all three privatized sectors: wireless, fixed-line payphones and VSAT.

Throughout the following decade, OTH grew and expanded its portfolio of investments to include telecommunication services in promising markets throughout Africa, Asia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East. In 2012, OTH merged with Vimplecom Ltd, creating Global Telecom Holding and the world's sixth-largest mobile telecommunications provider by number of subscribers with more than 86 million customers.