France's Alcatel contracted to expand Libya’s mobile coverage
French telecommunication giant Alcatel has concluded a deal with Libya’s telecom monopoly, the General Posts and Telecommunications Company (GPTC), under which the mobile phone network of the North African country will be expanded to cover the coastal area southeast of Tripoli, reported the BBC.
Libya’s first GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) network was launched in 1997, when a $42.5 million contract was signed with Sweden’s Ericsson. Cellular services are offered by the Al-Madar Telephone Company (Orbit Telecom), a wholly owned subsidiary of the national operator and regulator GPTC, and are currently limited to the coastal zone (Zuwarah, Tripoli and Al-Uarabutti).
Later in 1997 GPTC purchased a five percent stake in the United Arab Emirates (UAE)-based Thuraya Satellite Telecommunications company, for $25 million. In 1999, the GPTC acquired Thuraya’s distribution and marketing rights for Libya.
In 1999, a $70 million contract was signed by GPTC with Alcatel to supply and install the first fiber optic submarine telecommunications network along Libya’s coastline. The network spans 1,600 kilometer in 11 separate links to Libyan towns and cities, and then on to Tunisia.
The latest available figures on Libya’s telecommunications sector show that network capacity stood at 400,000 lines in 1995, while the connected telephone lines rate reached 380,000. This indicated a teledensity figure of 6.79 per hundred people.
While maintaining one of the lowest population densities in the world, Libya’s six-million strong population is predominantly concentrated in and around the country’s northern coastal cities. — (menareport.com)
© 2002 Mena Report (www.menareport.com)