Government approves plan to improve mobile services, signals the end of Alfa contract

1 Dec 2008

Lebanon’s government has approved reductions in mobile call fees by no less than 10% per minute as well as reductions in other service fees. Information Minister Tareq Mitri also announced that the Cabinet had approved expansion of mobile infrastructure and recommendations for improving services to customers. He also said that the Cabinet green-lighted measures forwarded by Telecoms Minister Jebran Bassil last week to end the existing management contract of cellco Alfa and have the communications ministry itself manage the Alfa network. Alfa (one of two state-owned networks managed by private firms, the other being MTC Touch Lebanon) has had its services and coverage criticised by the authorities in recent months, and the latest Cabinet decision appears to force its management company, a joint venture of Deutsche Telekom subsidiary DeTeCon International and Saudi Arabia’s Fal Holdings, to abandon its Lebanese operation. Mitri said the deadline for the implementation of government decisions is two months. An international tender for stakes in Alfa and MTC Touch is planned for early 2009.

Lebanon, Alfa (MIC 1)