Lebanon Businessnews News

Call Centers revived
Sehnaoui signs contracts with eight service providers after making license conditions easier for investors
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The Ministry of Telecommunication said that it is working to attract private investments in the value-added call-center service. The ministry has already signed new contracts with eight international service providers.

The Minister of Telecommunications, Nicolas Sehnaoui, who signed the contracts on Monday (January 16), said that the ministry took a number of measures that would make investments in call centers more lucrative for investors.
According to Youssef Obeid, General Manager of Call Center International (CCI) – one of the already existing service providers – the ministry changed the conditions to acquire a license. Obeid said that the new license allows the service providers to perform calls from the country (Outbound). Previously, service providers could only receive incoming calls (Inbound).

Call Centers use international connectivity and bandwidth in their operations.

Sehnaoui said that the cost of international leased lines is currently among the lowest in the region after the ministry slashed the prices of telecommunications services last September.

International leased lines are currently priced at around $2,700 (for maximum connection speed of 2MB). According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRA), the average price of International Leased Lines in the Arab region is $7,640.
β€œThe cost of the local workforce is much less than in the markets of Europe and the US, which we mainly provide our services to,” said Obeid. He also said that good English and French accents are the main added value of Lebanese workers.

Sehnaoui also said that service providers would now be able to run both Domestic and International calls. Operators were previously required to establish two respective companies for performing each of the two operations.
Under the new rules, in order to get a leased-line license, a firm must have at least a total of ten workstations. Former license conditions stipulated that a company must operate at least 35 workstations.

The eight service providers receiving new licenses were CCI, Double U, Telesupport, Teleperformance, Hill Marson, C.A.R.M.E.N Group (CICC), JANA, and E2M. Sehnaoui said that the ministry is ready to sign call-center contracts with more service providers.
In 2009, the then Minister of Telecommunications, Gebran Bassil, signed a number of call-center agreements with several international service providers including CCI and Tele Performance.
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Date Posted: Jan 17, 2012