Another temporary contract extension for Alfa, Touch

7 Jan 2016

Lebanon’s Ministry of Telecoms (MoT) has extended the management contracts for Lebanon’s two state-owned cellcos Touch and Alfa for a further month from 1 January 2016, whilst it continues to examine its options following the recent failure of an international tender to award longer-term contracts. Minister Boutros Harb was quoted by the Daily Star as saying: ‘If the government fails to take action I may consider extending the contracts of the two mobile companies in case they succeeded in providing high-quality services under my direct supervision in this coming month … We surely hope Cabinet approves on launching a new bidding round to find new operators to manage the networks … But if it fails to do so, and the current two mobile companies do not succeed in meeting our expectations then the ministry will have to take charge of running the sector.’ The operators are currently managed by Kuwait’s Zain and Egypt’s Orascom.