State telecoms provider the General Post & Telecommunications Company (GPTC) has set a deadline of 30 September for the submission of joint technical and financial bids for three contracts, worth an estimated $1,000 million, to modernise and upgrade the country's telecoms infrastructure. GPTC is expected to take up to a year evaluating technical quotes before awarding the contracts.
The first tender calls for the supply and installation of 1.5 million fixed lines; the second involves the supply and installation of a 6,000-kilometre-long, country-wide optical fibre network; and the third calls for the supply, installation and management of a national control system to monitor the broadcasting frequency spectrum (MEED 18:6:04). At least 10 companies - including some that have never bid for work before in the local market - are understood to have purchased the tender documents. They include Cisco Systemsand LucentTechnologiesboth of the US, the UK's Marconi Group, Italy's Pirelli Energy Cables & Systems, NortelNetworksof Canada, South Korea's Samsung Corporation, France's Alcatel, Germany's Siemens, Ericssonof Sweden and ZTEand Huawei Technologies, both of China. Libya's telecoms infrastructure has suffered from underinvestment and a lack of up-to-date technology as a result of the sanctions regime. Tripoli has stated its intention to invest $400 million a year over the coming decade to bring the fixed-line and GSM networks up to scratch. In January, ZTE signed an estimated $42 million contract with GPTC to install a new GSM network covering 46 towns and cities across the country for state-owned GSM operator Libyana, which intends to start operations by the end of the summer (MEED 16:1:04).
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