Minister tries to revitalise dormant liberalisation plans

13 Apr 2015

Lebanese telecoms minister Boutros Harb held meetings with advisers and officials last week seeking to find a way to relaunch the sector’s long-dormant liberalisation programme, local newspaper the Daily Star reports. One essential element of the liberalisation plan is the creation of a full-service telecoms operator, Liban Telecom, to replace state-run fixed line monopoly Ogero Telecom via a merger with two directorates of the Telecommunications Ministry under Law 431, which was approved by parliament in 2002 but never implemented. Harb indicated that a series of meetings were planned aimed at hammering out strategies for updating the existing Law 431 to appoint a board for Liban Telecom before any further steps can be achieved in the ‘frozen’ liberalisation roadmap originally developed by the country’s Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which ultimately targets privatisation of Lebanon’s state-owned twin mobile operators alongside the fixed line market. A senior official was quoted as saying that ‘the Cabinet needs to appoint the members of the board [of Liban Telecom] as a first step. Let’s hope that ministers will not quarrel over the names of candidates.’

Lebanon, Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT), Ogero Telecom