Telecoms minister indicates mobile tender ready in September

8 Jun 2020

Lebanese telecoms minister Talal Hawat declared in a televised news conference on 5 June 2020 that tender documents for international companies seeking to bid for the management of Lebanon’s two state-owned mobile networks will be complete within three months, the Daily Star reports. Hawat added: ‘After completing the tender [documentation], I will present it to Cabinet and the tender department to take the necessary measures in order to launch the tender.’ In early May the Cabinet authorised the Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) to temporarily take responsibility for the two cellular network operators – Touch and Alfa, currently managed by Kuwait’s Zain Group and Egypt’s Orascom Investment Holding (OIH), respectively – at which point Hawat indicated that the contract tender would be ready by August, although the minister’s latest statement suggests this initial declaration was a month premature. Zain and OIH had been informed at the end of 2019 that that their rolling short-term contract extensions would not continue, although both companies are expected to be permitted to bid for new contracts.