Lebanon state-owned operators Touch and Alfa have called for the government to mandate an increase in tariff prices, a move they said is required to curb their dwindling revenues to “ensure the continuity” of the telecoms sector.
Touch and Alfa said in a joint translated statement: “The adoption of a decree to amend the prices of cellular communications is an urgent necessity to ensure the continuity of the sector”.
The companies warn of impending “unknown danger” to Lebanon’s industries which rely on telecommunications if government intervention is not made.
In the statement, the companies detailed their combined annual income plummeted from US$1.4 billion in 2018 to US$75 million currently, according to black market exchange rates, which are being used as the country is engulfed in an economic crisis.
The companies noted they reduced annual expenses from US$560 million in 2018 to around US$255 million. Including US$40 million in annual supplier fees, Alfa and Touch have a combined annual expense of US$295 million, which is not sustainable as it is about four times their annual income.