Egyptian carrier Orascom said Tuesday that it has been awarded a management contract for Lebanese mobile operator Alfa, owned by the Republic of Lebanon.

Under the terms of the deal, Orascom is required to increase the number of subscribers of Alfa from around 600,000 at the end of 2008 to around 1 million at the end of 2009.

“We have always been very interested in playing a role in the mobile communications market in Lebanon. Lebanon belongs to the profile of countries where OTH has extensive expertise in rolling out and developing successful businesses, and we believe that our entry to the Lebanese market through this management contract could pave the way for further investments in telecommunications by OTH in Lebanon at a later stage,” said Naguib Sawiris, Orascom’s chairman and CEO.

Meanwhile, Kuwaiti carrier Zain is also understood to have won a management contract for rival Lebanese network, MTC Touch.