Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Opening up the Mobile Market

The development and growth of the Libyan Telecoms market has been highly stifled by tight government control and the quasi-monopoly that has risen from that control and oversight. A lot of Libyans complain about the bad customer support and low quality of service and have always attributed both to the lack of real competition and there have been many rumors flying around that mention the entry of a third mobile operator into the Libyan market ( we already have two Libyanna and Madar ). Most of the rumors centered around the possibility of Etisalat becoming the third operator; which is the biggest operator in Dubai. Funnily enough when the rumors started Etisalat had just started its operations in Egypt with a Libyan Project Manager :P, I think Libya has a stake in the company or something as Libya has a lot of investments in Dubai. There were even rumors about Q-tel trying to get access into the Libyan market; but it was all just rumors .... at least until now .
According to two reports from the Tripoli Post ( 1 2 )and a report from Reuters there has been a tender for a fixed and mobile license in Libya and the two companies that have submitted a bid thus far have been Etisalat and Turkcell ( third largest mobile operatro in Europe ). Actually an Etisalat executive said that they might spend as much as $500m; which would be, I think, a lot more than what the any of the other operators already in Libya have spent and I'm sure it would create much more jobs and allow a lot more transfer of knowledge in a much shorter period. Not that Libyanna and Madar aren't a huge jump for Libya, given the sanctions and lack of access to any technology made after - I think - 1986; but it's always good to share experiences and knowledge with other people ;).
That being said their might be other bids for the license so I'll probably update the post if anything new pops up. Oh and we still need at least one other new ISP if things are really to improve technologically wise in Libya !