Lebanon - Telecoms, Mobile and Broadband - Statistics and Analyses

Executive summary

Fibre-based broadband operating licenses awarded in Lebanon

Lebanon has been working on improving its fixed infrastructure in recent years, driven by the telecoms minister Jamal Jarrah. In 2017 plans were introduced which would see new landlines and fibre-optic networks installed as well as faster DSL services.

In 2018 we are seeing significant progress in this area with the awarding of licenses which allows three existing services providers to operate and supply FttH services to consumers, using Ogero’s government-owned network. The pricing of telecom services has been raised as an issue in Lebanon in the past – and it is hoped that the new FttH packages will only be moderately more expensive than the DSL based ones.

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).

Both operators have launched 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.

Key developments:

  • 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 by 2020.
  • In 2018 Ogero Telecom awarded fibre-deployment contracts to three consortiums – SERTA Channels-Huawei, BMB-Calix and Powertech-Nokia.

Companies covered in this report include:

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

Table of Contents

  • 1. Executive summary
  • 2. Key statistics
    • 2.1 Country overview
  • 3. Telecommunications market
    • 3.1 Historical overview
    • 3.2 Market analysis
    • 3.3 Regional Middle East market comparison
  • 4. Regulatory environment
    • 4.1 Background
    • 4.2 Regulatory authority
    • 4.3 Telecom sector liberalisation in Lebanon
    • 4.4 Privatisation
    • 4.5 Mobile regulatory issues
      • 4.5.1 Lebanon’s current mobile contracts
      • 4.5.2 Open international tender 2015
      • 4.5.3 Spectrum
      • 4.5.4 Interconnect
      • 4.5.5 Counterfeit mobile devices regulation
  • 5. Fixed network operator
    • 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 Market analysis
    • 7.2 Broadband statistics
    • 7.3 Competition issues
      • 7.3.1 Data service provision
    • 7.4 Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) networks
    • 7.5 Fibre-to-the-Premises (FttP)
    • 7.6 Other fixed broadband services
  • 8. Digital economy
    • 8.1 Introduction
      • 8.1.1 Digital technologies assist refugees in Lebanon and the Middle East
      • 8.1.2 Start-ups in Lebanon
      • 8.1.3 MIEP project
    • 8.2 E-banking/m-banking
    • 8.3 E-government
  • 9. Digital media
    • 9.1 Videostreaming
  • 10. Mobile communications
    • 10.1 Market analysis
    • 10.2 Mobile statistics
    • 10.3 Mobile data
      • 10.3.1 OTT messaging services
      • 10.3.2 M2M
    • 10.4 Mobile broadband statistics
    • 10.5 Mobile infrastructure
      • 10.5.1 GSM, 3G
      • 10.5.2 4G LTE
      • 10.5.3 5G
    • 10.6 Major mobile operators
      • 10.6.1 Touch (operated by Zain)
      • 10.6.2 Alfa
    • 10.7 Mobile handsets
  • 11. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Country statistics – Lebanon - 2018
  • Table 2 – Telephone network statistics – 2018
  • Table 3 – Fixed broadband statistics – 2018
  • Table 4 – Mobile statistics – 2018
  • Table 5 – National telecommunications authorities
  • Table 6 - Evolution of GDP and inflation in Lebanon – 2012 - 2018
  • Table 7 – Fixed lines in service and teledensity - 2006 - 2018
  • Table 8 – Internet user and penetration estimates – 2013 - 2018
  • Table 9 – Fixed broadband subscribers and penetration – 2002 - 2018
  • Table 10 – Household PC penetration – 2002 - 2016
  • Table 11 – Historic - Mobile subscribers and penetration rate - 1995 - 2004
  • Table 12 – Mobile subscribers and penetration – 2005 - 2018
  • Table 13 – Mobile operators’ market share – 2009 – 2017
  • Table 14 – Active mobile broadband subscriptions – 2011 - 2018
  • Table 15 – Touch mobile subscribers – 2005 – 2017
  • Table 16 – Alfa – mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Middle East - Telecoms Maturity Index (TMI) - 2017
  • Chart 2 – Middle East - Telecoms Maturity Index vs GDP per Capita - 2017
  • Chart 3 – Middle East – fixed broadband penetration versus mobile broadband penetration – 2017
  • Chart 4 – Mobile operators – subscriber market share – 2009 - 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – Lebanon’s Telecom Vision 2020
  • Exhibit 2 – Middle East - Key characteristics of telecoms markets by country
  • Exhibit 3 – The evolution of fixed internet/broadband in Lebanon

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