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Lebanon - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

Lebanon - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts

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.

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 Ogeros 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.

Key telecom parameters 2012; 2014
Sector | 2012 | 2014
Subscribers to telecoms services (million):
Fixed Broadband | 0.26 | 0.38
Fixed-line telephony | 0.91 | 0.91
Mobile phone | 4.00 | 4.05
(Source: BuddeComm)

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.

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;
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.

1. Executive summary
2. Key statistics
2.1 Country overview
3. Telecommunications market
3.1 Overview of Lebanon's telecom market
4. Regulatory environment
4.1 Background
4.2 Regulatory authority
4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Lebanon
4.4 Privatisation
4.4.1 Ogero Telecom
4.4.2 Mobile operators
4.5 Interconnect
5. Fixed network operator in Lebanon
5.1 Ogero Telecom
6. Telecommunications infrastructure
6.1 National telecom network
6.2 International infrastructure
6.2.1 Submarine cable networks
7. Broadband access market
7.1 Overview
7.1.1 Internet and broadband statistics
7.2 Broadband subscriber forecasts
7.2.1 Scenario 1 higher growth
7.2.2 Scenario 2 lower growth
7.3 Data service providers
7.3.1 Overview
7.3.2 Cable One (Wigo Lebanon)
7.3.3 Cedarcom
7.3.4 GlobalCom Data Services
7.3.5 Pesco Telcom
7.3.6 Sodetel
7.4 ISP market
7.4.1 IDM/Cyberia
7.4.2 TerraNet
7.5 Asymmetrical Digital Subscriber Line (DSL)
7.6 Fibre to the Home (FttH)
7.7 Wireless broadband
7.7.1 WiFi
7.7.2 WiMAX
7.7.3 iBurst
7.7.4 Internet via satellite (Ku band services)
8. Digital economy/digital media
8.1 Overview
8.2 E-commerce
8.2.1 MarkaVIP thriving in the Middle East
8.3 E-government
8.4 E-education
8.4.1 PC and Internet penetration
8.5 E-health
8.6 Social media
8.7 Cloud technology
9. Digital broadcasting
9.1 Overview
9.2 Broadcasting regulation
9.3 Free-to-Air (FTA) and satellite TV
9.4 Video-on-Demand (VoD)
9.5 Pay TV
10. Mobile communications
10.1 Overview of Lebanon's mobile market
10.1.1 Mobile statistics
10.2 Regulatory issues
10.2.1 Overview
10.2.2 Lebanon's current mobile contracts
10.3 Mobile technologies
10.3.1 GSM
10.3.2 3G
10.3.3 Long Term Evolution (LTE)
10.4 Major mobile operators
10.4.1 Touch (operated by Zain)
10.4.2 Alfa
10.5 Mobile voice services
10.5.1 Prepaid
10.5.2 Satellite mobile
10.5.3 Mobile VoIP
10.6 Mobile messaging
10.7 Mobile data
10.7.1 Mobile Broadband
10.8 Mobile content and applications
10.8.1 Business services
10.8.2 M-payments
10.8.3 Mobile TV
11. Related reports
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 Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
Table 16 Mobile subscribers and penetration 2005 - 2014
Table 17 Mobile operators' market share 2004 2014
Table 18 Touch prepaid and postpaid subscribers 2005 - 2014
Table 19 Alfa subscribers 2009 - 2014
Table 20 Active mobile broadband subscriptions 2011 - 2014
Chart 1 Lebanon fixed-line and mobile subscribers 2002 - 2014

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