BMI View: We retain a negative outlook for the Lebanese telecommunications market, owing to a variety offactors. A lack of true competition in the mobile market has held back Lebanon's growth potential, so thegovernment has come up with plans to liberalise the market including launching a third mobile marketoperator, but we believe this will have little real effect unless the government's direct influence is lifted. Thissituation is unlikely to change over our forecast and we have therefore downgraded the outlook for mobilegrowth to 2021. On the upside, operators have benefited from an increase in data service usage as 62% ofthe market signed up to use mobile data by end-2015.
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Minister Harb's Agenda 2020 involved deploying nationwide 4.5G services by end-2016 and developing5G services for the future. Following an agreement signed in 2016, we remain sceptical about itsdeliverability.
Lebanon's national fixed provider Ogero remains embroiled in a national illegal internet scandalinvolving the company's director general and various private companies accused of illegally sharingbandwidth profits.
Mobile growth will average just 1.45% over 2016-2020, with penetration remaining under 90% by end ofour forecast period.