Libya to launch tender for first private mobile licence

Libya to launch tender for first private mobile licence

Libya is to launch a tender for the country’s first private mobile licence in 2014, according to reports.

The move would open the market up to private competition – at present it is limited to two state-owned operators, which between them share more than 8 million subscribers.

There have been persistent rumours that the market would be opened up since the country held elections in July 2012.

Comments from Libya’s communications minister Usama Siala in an interview with AFP appeared to confirm that the country is making headway.

"We are going to propose a mobile telephone license for the private sector in three to six months,” he said. "Until now, we have been competing with ourselves. We need competition, which can only be beneficial for the market and particularly for users.”

Telecoms is seen as playing a major role in driving economic growth in Libya, with an estimated $1 billion worth of telecoms infrastructure destroyed during the civil war in 2011.

Since then, a number of international carriers have made moves in the market, including Telecom Italia, Epsilon and OTE Globe.

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