Libya Planning to Privatize Phone Networks

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The Libyan government has announced plans to privatize the country's two mobile phone networks. Speaking during the inauguration of a national council for economic development Colonel Muammar al Gaddafi's second eldest son Saif al Islam Gaddafi said that the two companies would "go private" tomorrow.

It was not immediately clear how the transaction would be carried out, or if outside investors would be invited to bid for stakes in the companies.

Both mobile network operators are currently owned by the Libyan General Post and Telecommunication Company, but they compete against each other for customers by providing different pricing schemes and coverage areas. Muammar al-Gaddafi's eldest son, Muhammad Gaddafi runs the company.

The Mobile World subscriber database estimates that Libya ended Q3 '06 with around 2.35 million subscribers - representing a population penetration rate of 40%."

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