Lebanon’s telecoms ministry has launched an open international tender for two three-year contracts to manage the country’s state-owned mobile networks, Touch Lebanon and Alfa, currently managed by Kuwait’s Zain Group and Egypt’s Orascom Telecom, respectively. Previous indications had been that a two-year term might be offered to all-comers, and the news that three-year contracts are up for grabs may be seen as an extra factor in attracting major international bidders. The contracts will replace the temporary rolling renewable contracts currently in place (with the existing extension running out at the end of December). Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star reports that the telecoms ministry has told interested parties to submit their initial bids by 30 June, while the results of the tender are scheduled to be announced on 8 September. Qualified bidders must have offered telecoms service for at least five years and have at least 10 million active subscribers, while having at least ten years of operational, technical and development experience in owning and/or managing mobile networks (with networks worth at least USD5 billion in value).