Lebanon’s Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT) has extended the contract of Kuwait’s Zain Group to manage state-owned mobile operator Touch Lebanon (MIC 2) for a further three months, until the end of March 2014. As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, a political impasse in Lebanon has led to a series of temporary contract extensions, with the first one covering the period ended June 2013.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, MIC 2 was established in January 1995 under a build-transfer-operate (BTO) contract awarded by the government the previous year. Kuwaiti cellco Zain Group was awarded an initial four-year management contract to operate and develop MIC 2’s network in June 2004. However, in order to extend its management contract beyond 2013 by up to five years, Zain must compete in an open tender, the terms of which were expected be finalised by the MoT in April 2013 for Council of Ministers (CoM) approval; delays in the process have meant that temporary management contract extensions have been introduced in the interim.