Lebanon - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Fibre-based broadband infrastructure improving in Lebanon

Lebanon’s telecoms market holds a unique position in the Middle East given the level of government involvement. While most incumbents in the region are government owned, within Lebanon, government ownership also extends to the country’s two mobile operators.

The government-owned mobile networks are operated by private companies in return for a management fee, with all revenue going to the government. The two networks are currently operated by Zain of Kuwait (Touch) and Orascom of Egypt (Alfa).

Lebanon has improved its fixed infrastructure in recent years, driven by the telecoms ministry. Plans were introduced which saw new landlines and fibre-optic networks installed as well as faster DSL services.

Recently licenses were awarded which allow the three existing services providers to operate and supply FttH services to consumers, using Ogero’s government-owned network. To facilitate this further; in 2019 Ogero became one of the first in the world to conduct a commercial trial of a fixed network slicing solution deployed to its FttH network.

Looking at the mobile sector; both operators have deployed 4G LTE services, underpinning a drive into mobile broadband and presenting a strong alternative to existing fixed offerings. The operators are also preparing for 5G and in 2018 the first successful 5G trial was conducted in Lebanon. The telecoms minister is currently developing 5G test base stations with plans to trial them during 2019.

This report includes BuddeComm’s Telecoms Maturity Index which measures and ranks the maturity of a country’s telecoms industry on a scale of 1 to 100. All countries are placed into one of three categories: ‘Market Leaders’, ‘Market Challengers’ and ‘Emergents’, according to their Market Index score.

Key developments:

  • An existing submarine cable is expected to be replaced in Lebanon in 2019.
  • The pricing of telecom services has been raised as an issue in Lebanon in recent years.
  • The improvements to Lebanon's broadband infrastructure will boost the already flourishing digital economy as well as the start-up culture that has attracted international interest and recognition.
  • In 2018 the first successful 5G trial was conducted in Lebanon.
  • The 2020 Telecom Vision project managed by the MoT will see improvements in fibre-optic infrastructure with plans for the entire country to be covered in 2020.

Companies covered in this report include:

Ogero Telecom, Touch (Zain), Alfa Telecom (Orascom).

Table of Contents

  • Key statistics

    • Country overview
  • Telecommunications market

    • Historical overview
    • Market overview
  • Regional comparison

    • Telecoms Maturity index (TMI)
    • TMI versus GDP
      • Market Leaders
      • Market Challengers
      • Market Emergents
    • Mobile and mobile broadband penetration
    • Fixed and mobile broadband penetration
  • Regulatory environment

    • Background
    • Regulatory authority
    • Telecom sector liberalisation in Lebanon
    • Privatisation
    • Mobile regulatory issues
      • Lebanon’s current mobile contracts
      • Open international tender 2015
      • Spectrum
      • Interconnect
      • Counterfeit mobile devices regulation
  • Fixed network operator

    • Ogero Telecom
  • Telecommunications infrastructure

    • National telecom network
    • International infrastructure
      • Submarine cable networks
  • Broadband access market

    • Market overview
    • Broadband statistics
    • Competition issues
      • Data service provision
    • Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
    • Other fixed broadband services
  • Digital economy

  • Mobile communications

    • Market overview
    • Mobile statistics
    • Mobile data
      • OTT messaging services
      • M2M
    • Mobile broadband statistics
    • Mobile infrastructure
      • GSM, 3G
      • 4G LTE
      • 5G
    • Major mobile operators
      • Touch (operated by Zain)
      • Alfa
    • Mobile handsets
  • Related reports

List of Tables

  • Table 1 – Top Level Country statistics and Telco Authorities – Lebanon – 2019
  • Table 2 - Evolution of GDP and inflation in Lebanon – 2014 – 2019
  • Table 3 – Lebanon - Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2006 – 2019
  • Table 4 – Lebanon - Internet user and penetration estimates – 2013 – 2019
  • Table 5 – Lebanon - fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2002 – 2019
  • Table 6 – Lebanon - Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 – 2004
  • Table 7 – Lebanon - mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 – 2019
  • Table 8 – Lebanon - Mobile operators’ market share – 2009 – 2018
  • Table 9 – Lebanon - active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2011 – 2019
  • Table 10 – Touch mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2018
  • Table 11 – Alfa – mobile subscribers – 2009 – 2017

List of Charts

  • Chart 1 – Middle East – Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI)
  • Chart 2 - Middle East - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita - 2018
  • Chart 3 – Middle East – mobile subscriber versus mobile broadband penetration - 2018
  • Chart 4 – Middle East – Fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration

List of Exhibits

  • Exhibit 1 – Lebanon’s Telecom Vision 2020
  • Exhibit 2 – The evolution of fixed internet/broadband in Lebanon

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