Operators count cost of war

21 Aug 2006

In addition to the human cost of the conflict between Israel and Lebanon, industry chiefs are beginning to assess the damage to local infrastructure. Losses in the Lebanese telecoms sector are as high as USD100 million, according to some estimates, although a representative from the country’s Ministry of Telecommunications told a local newspaper that he did not know exact figures and that ‘the minister is not talking about damage right now.’ Mohammad Shabib, managing director of cellco MTC Touch Lebanon, also said he did not know the extent of the destruction of network infrastructure in the south. ‘We started to survey the damaged sites in all areas the moment the cease-fire went into effect,’ he said, ‘and we’re working on a recovery plan with the Ministry.’