Kuwaiti telecoms giant Zain Group is the latest high-profile international telecoms firm to publicly disclose an interest in entering the lucrative Libyan telecoms sector. Reuters quotes Zain chairman, Asaad Ahmed al-Banwan, as saying: ‘We have a study for Libya. We are considering the Libya market at the moment’. The remark was made to journalists gathered outside the company’s annual shareholder meeting on Sunday.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in March 2013 a long-awaited tender to manage the country’s monopoly telecoms operator, state-owned Libyan Post, Telecommunication and Information Technology Co (LIPTIC), and its wholly-owned cellular subsidiaries Libyana and Almadar Aljaded, was abruptly halted by the government; no official explanation was forthcoming from Tripoli. Previously, in January 2013 a whole host of international players expressed an interest in securing a foothold in the lucrative Libyan market, including Etisalat of the UAE, France Telecom-Orange (FT-Orange), Digicel Group of Jamaica, the UK’s Vodafone Group, Vimpelcom of Russia, Qtel of Qatar (now Ooredoo) and India’s Bharti Airtel.