MoT extends contracts of Touch and Alfa operators. Renewal expected again in absence of Cabinet - Lebanon

MoT extends contracts
of Touch and Alfa operators
Renewal expected again
in absence of Cabinet
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The Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) has renewed the contracts of the two local mobile operators, Touch and Alfa, for another three months.

The terms of the extension are the same as those adopted in the last extension, said Karim Kobeissi, Senior Advisor at the MoT. The contract had been extended in January for one month, and then in February for three months.

Kobeissi said that the extension decision followed an agreement between the MoT, caretaker Prime Minister Najib Mikati, and President Michel Suleiman.

“This is the only choice we had, other than putting the telecoms sector under the direct management of the government,” said Kobeissi. He said the extension of the contracts will ensure a smooth continuity of service for users, and will contribute to public revenue from the mobile sector.

According to Kobeissi, the MoT has already prepared terms of reference for a tender to get new operators. Finalizing the terms of reference requires the Cabinet’s approval. “As long as the circumstances remain the same with no Cabinet, we might have to renew the contract again,” he said.

Even if a new Cabinet is formed, the current contract extension will remain operational until September, Kobeissi said.
Reported by Rana Freifer
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Date Posted: Jul 04, 2013