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Lebanon - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts


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There are many positive developments occurring in Lebanon which see this countries telecoms sector finally making strident improvements. While it has been known to have slow and expensive Internet access as well as costly and patchy mobile services; the situation is slowly changing with Internet speeds now increasing, mobile call costs coming down and capped data plans being introduced.

Lebanon’s government is supportive of further developing its telecoms infrastructure in order to be well positioned for future digital advancements. In addition, Telecommunications Minister Boutros Harb has ambitions to finally liberalise Lebanon’s telecoms market – a topic which has been under discussion since at least 2002 when Law 431 was first mooted. Market liberalisation and privatisation is a contentious issue in Lebanon as revenue from the telecoms industry contributes a significant proportion of the government’s budget.

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Broadband affordability improved significantly in August 2011 when a decree was passed that drastically reduced prices and increased speeds. Broadband availability is improving, with access available via DSL, fibre, WiMAX, WiFi, iBurst and 3G/LTE platforms.

Mobile services are offered by the two government-owned operators, managed by Orascom Telecom of Egypt operating as Alfa and Zain of Kuwait known as Touch - in return for a management fee. Not long after launching 3G services, both operators launched LTE services, underpinning a drive into mobile broadband and presenting a strong alternative to existing fixed offerings. Alfa and Touch both plan to deploy Voice-Over-LTE (VoLTE) services in 2014.

The Minister is also keen to finally reduce telecoms tariffs in Lebanon. Telecommunication prices are set by the Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT). Previous governments followed a strategy of limiting subscriber numbers and keeping tariffs high, resulting in the highest prices in the Middle East and the lowest penetration rates.

In 2014 the Telecommunications Minister decreased the cost of incumbent Ogero's local and international calls by as much as 50% for fixed calls and 30% for mobile calls when made using pre-paid cards. This initiative was also designed to rejuvenate the prepaid sector.

These recent developments indicate the Lebanese telecoms market is again heading in the right direction and in 2014 the market is evolving, most notably in the broadband and mobile sectors.

Companies covered in this report include:

Ogero Telecom, Cable One (Wigo Lebanon), Cedarcom, GlobalCom Data Services (GDS), Pesco Telecom, Sodetel, IDM/Cyberia, TerraNet, MTC Touch, Alfa Telecom, Cinemoz.

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This report provides a comprehensive overview of trends and developments in Lebanon’s telecommunications market. The report analyses the mobile, Internet, broadband, digital TV and converging media sectors. Subjects include:

  • Market and industry analyses, trends and developments;
  • Facts, figures and statistics;
  • Industry and regulatory issues;
  • Infrastructure;
  • Major players, key statistics;
  • Digital economy
  • Mobile voice and data markets;
  • Broadband (FttH, DSL, wireless);
  • Convergence and digital media;
  • Broadband subscriber forecasts 2019 and 2024.

Major points from Table of Contents (http://www.marketreportsonline.com/56360-toc.html) are listed below:

List of Tables

Table 1 – Country statistics Lebanon – 2014
Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2014
Table 3 – Internet user statistics – 2014
Table 4 – Fixed broadband statistics – 2014
Table 5 – Mobile statistics – 2014
Table 6 – National telecommunications authority
Table 7 – GDP growth and inflation – 2005 - 2014
Table 8 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 1996 - 2014
Table 9 – Internet user and penetration estimates – 1995 - 2014
Table 10 – Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2002 - 2014
Table 11 – Household PC penetration – 2002 - 2015
Table 12 – International Internet bandwidth – 2003 - 2011
Table 13 – Forecast broadband subscribers – higher growth scenario – 2019; 2024
Table 14 – Forecast broadband subscribers – lower growth scenario – 2019; 2024
Table 15 – Mobile subscribers and penetration rate – 1995 – 2014
Table 16 – Zain – Active Subscribers – 2006 - 2013
Table 17 – Zain prepaid and postpaid subscribers – 2005 - 2013
Table 18 – Touch’s consumer market mobile broadband offerings – July 2013
Table 19 – – Alfa’s consumer market mobile broadband offerings – June 2014

List of Charts

Chart 1 – Lebanon fixed-line and mobile subscribers – 2002 - 2014

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