Lebanon Businessnews News

Orascom skips
telecom tender
Current Alfa operator does not meet new set requirements
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Orascom will no longer operate the MIC 1 (Alfa) mobile network, as of December 2015. In an exclusive interview with Businessnews.com.lb, Minister of Telecom Boutros Harb said that the company did not present an offer.

“It does not comply with the new criteria listed in the Terms of Reference presented by the ministry,” he said. The terms of reference specified that the prospective mobile network operator must have been providing mobile services on a continuous basis for the past five years to at least ten million active subscribers and of which at least three million on a single network. The operators must also own or manage more than one active mobile operation and have deployed or managed GSM, GPRS, Edge, 3G (HSPA+) and 4G (LTE Advanced) commercial networks. The operator must have a net worth of at least $5 billion. Harb said that Orascom Telecom is selling its assets in various markets where it operates.

The Bids Department of the Central Inspection Board will conduct a public international tender to run the two mobile telecom networks, as of September 8, 2015. The contract winner will run the network for three years on behalf of the Ministry of Telecommunications. The temporary guarantee to participate in the tender is $2 million. Applicants had until June 30 to fulfill the requirements.

Harb said that Zain (Mic 2 - Touch) is participating in the tender, along with Turkcell and French Orange Telecom. “We did not receive any offer from Lebanese mobile operators,” he said.

The current management contracts of both mobile operators were renewed and are valid until the last day of 2015.

Harb said that with the implementation of the 2020 strategy, telecom prices are expected to be slashed again. “Our aim is to make the sector more competitive with better services,” he said.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Jul 15, 2015
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