Three local companies win tender to lay fiber optic network in Lebanon
OGERO announced the winning companies set to deploy the national public fiber optic project. Three local companies will partner with international vendors to implement the project. Power Tech affiliated with the Finnish company Nokia, BMB Group with Calix from the USA, and SERTA Channels with the Chinese firm Huawei.
Imad Kreidieh, General Director of OGERO, said that the expected accumulated revenues from the project will reach $1 billion within a four-year period. The project will have additional impact on the GDP. Developing countries like Lebanon anticipate a 1.5 percent increase in their GDP for every ten percent of the population with access to the Internet, said Kreidieh. The overall cost of the project will reach $283 million.
The project includes ‘Fiber-to-the-Home’ (FTTH) and ‘Fiber-to-the-Cabinet’ (FTTC), to ensure an Internet connection with a speed of at least 50 Mb/s. FTTH will be deployed in densely populated areas, and FTTC will cover less populated locations.
The selected companies will install the network and integrate it with OGERO’s current central stations. Kreidieh said that OGERO will be using more than 5,000 active or smart cabinets to connect central stations with end users across the country.
OGERO submitted the terms of reference to five companies. It received four bids, but one of the tenderers was disqualified as its bid did not meet the technical requirements. OGERO selected the three companies to ensure the deployment of the project by the year ending 2020.
Kreidieh said that the work will start simultaneously across the country. But more time for technical preparation is required before allocating the zones among the companies. There are ten zones, and the distribution process will consider the geographic and demographic factors of the subscribers.
Walid Khoury, Managing Director at SERTA Channels, said that the selected companies still await the final high-level technical design to decide on their working strategies, and whether additional recruitment is needed. But the real benefit of the project is the improvement of the business environment for ICT companies which will create direct and indirect employment activity across the country, said Khoury.