Lebanon Businessnews News

Ministry is seeking to
manage mobile networks
Temporary measure to last
until tender process is completed
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The Ministry of Telecom (MoT) is seeking to obtain the Council of Ministers’ mandate to temporarily manage the two mobile networks until a new tender to select the permanent operators is completed.

Until this authorization is obtained, the MoT may extend the contracts of the two mobile operators, said a source at the MoT. Last week the contracts of the Kuwait-based Zain Group (operating Touch) and Egypt’s Orascom (operating Alfa) were extended to the end of February. The extensions are occurring on a month-to-month basis.

According to a source close to the MoT, if the authorization is given by the Council of Ministers, the contracts of Alfa and Touch will be terminated and their top managers will be dismissed. Other employees would remain in their jobs.

The opening of the mobile management tender was postponed twice last year to allow Orascom to bid after it secured the State Council’s ruling for its eligibility to participate. The tender was canceled in December by the Department of Tenders as Zain and France-based Orange S.A. were the only remaining bidders after Orascom withdrew from the tender. Three companies, from Turkey, Malaysia, and the UK, withdrew from the tender at an earlier time.
Reported by Shikrallah Nakhoul
Date Posted: Jan 06, 2016
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