Zain also confirmed it will manage the MTC Touch network for another year, from 1 February, and target another 400,000 customers on top of the existing 800,000. The Lebanese government has agreed to finance the capital expenditure for expanding the networks and will pay the two operators management fees based on operating costs per subscriber.
Lebanon has some 1.1 million mobile phone users out of a population of 4 million. The new operators are expected to increase the network coverage and bring prices down. The new contracts are a stop-gap measure until long-delayed privatization of the mobile firms takes place. The privatisation has been put on hold because of global market conditions.