Lebanon Businessnews News

Cedarcom calls for release of withheld equipment
“Political wrangling” leaves $700,000 worth telecom gear in airport for 8 months
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Local broadband wireless data provider, Cedarcom, on Thursday called on the Minister of Telecommunications Nicolas Sehnaoui to act in favor of the release of its equipment held at the Rafic Hariri International Airport.

The company said that the equipment, worth around $700,000, have been kept at the Beirut airport for more than eight months. The equipment includes devices which have been sent for repair, new Router and Mobi devices, and transmission devices.

“This is affecting our ability to fulfill our commitments to the customers,” Cedarcom said in a statement. It also said that the hold-up “is cutting back revenues to both the company and the state’s Treasury, which benefits from 20 percent of the revenues.”

Cedarcom has been introducing the same equipment into the country for over five years, through the approval of the successive ministers.

An official at the Ministry said that the company had managed to admit the equipment before because there was no control by the ministry. He also said that the equipment was denied admission due to “concerns over Cedarcom’s legal profile”.

Cedarcom Chairman Imad Tarabay said that “political wrangling” is behind the quandary. “I invite them to shut down the company if there is any illegality in the company’s record,” Tarabay said.

Tarabay said that he will meet with the Minister of Telecoms next week. “I am certain that Minister Sehnaoui will release the equipment,” he said.

Cedarcom had filed a lawsuit earlier this year, along with Broadband Plus, against the Ministry of Telecoms for denying them the right to provide DSL services.

In January 2006, a Memorandum of Understanding concerning the DSL service was signed between the Telecom Ministry, Ogero, and some private companies, including Cedarcom. A large number of private companies, as well as Ogero, have started offering the DSL service since May 2007. But the service was denied to Cedarcom and Broadband Plus.
Date Posted: Sep 09, 2011
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