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Lebanon Telecommunications 

Lebanon has two mobile operators which are both government controlled under a monopolistic arrangement. The government pays a management fee to Alfa and MTC Touch who operate the mobile networks on behalf of the government. Fixed line telephony services are owned and operated by the government-owned operator, Ogero. The conflict in Syria and deterioration in Lebanon’s security have put on hold many of the government’s deregulation plans.

The internet backbone network in Lebanon is owned and operated by the government-owned operator, Ogero. A significant number of ISPs operate in the country and offer internet access via ADSL, fibre, WiMAX, WI-FI and other technologies. The government’s monopoly over the internet backbone in the country allows it to tightly control the activity of ISPs.

Mobile broadband remains the most popular internet access method and both mobile operators now offer 4G services, Alfa and Touch have commercial 3.9G & 4G LTE data services in many regions in Lebanon (mostly dense urban regions) starting May 2013.

As part of Lebanon Broadband 2020 plan, Full LTE 4G Coverage is expected in 2 Years. The large volume of mobile internet users places significant pressure on telecommunications infrastructure often resulting in slow speeds and poor performance of the network. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) regulates the country's telecommunication sector.

 

Telephone Services

Is there an existing landline telephone network?

Yes

(For new buildings, landlines must be requested – Approximate waiting time for installation: Two weeks)

Does it allow international calls?

 

Yes

On average, number and length of downtime periods

NA

Mobile phone providers (List)

1)     MTC Touch

2)     Alfa

Estimated availability and coverage

(Approximate percentage of national coverage)

84%


Telecommunication Regulation

The Lebanese telecommunications market is highly regulated. The country’s two mobile networks are government controlled under a monopolistic arrangement. The conflict in Syria and deterioration in Lebanon’s security have put on hold many of the government’s deregulation plans. In addition, the government’s monopoly over the internet backbone in the country allows it to tightly control the activity of ISPs. The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) regulates the country's telecommunication sector.

Regulations

Regulations on usage or import of:

Yes / No

Regulating Authority

Satellite

 Yes

TRA

HF Radio

 Yes

TRA

UHF/VHF/HF radio: handheld, base and mobile

 Yes

TRA

UHF/VHF repeaters

 Yes

TRA

GPS

 Yes

TRA

VSAT

 Yes

TRA

Individual Network Operator Licenses Required   

-    Yes To use radio, VSAT and satellite phones in country censing/government permission is required.

Frequency Licenses Required   

-   Yes requests to TRA for frequency licenses are required for VSAT and radio.

 

Existing Humanitarian Telecoms Systems

From the perspective of radio network coverage, Lebanon is split into two regions 1) North of Litany River (NLR) and 2) South Litany River (SLR).

UNDSS manages the network in the NLR region of Lebanon. The UNDSS radio network in NLR is an analogue VHF network which is made up of 8 repeaters covering a broad area. UNDSS provides radio programming services to other UN agencies. The radio network is only available to UN agencies, not NGOs. In 2013, ETC worked closely with UNDSS on a major upgrade to the VHF radio network in NLR to support the humanitarian community working for the Syrian operation.

UNIFIL manages the network in the SLR region of the country. In mid-2014 UNIFIL migrated from analogue to a fully digital VHF radio network. At the request of UN agencies who were using UNIFIL’s analogue network, UNIFIL reactivated some analogue repeaters in SLR to reinstate analogue radio coverage to non-UNIFIL agencies working in SLR. In parallel, UNIFIL are preparing a digital programming file (code plug) to allow non-UNIFIL agencies to access UNIFIL’s digital network (provided they have the correct digital radio devices).

 

Existing UN Telecommunication Systems

Organizations 

UNIDO

ESCWA

FAO

VHF frequencies

UN ESCWA Facilities

Yes

UN ESCWA Facilities

HF frequencies

UN ESCWA Facilities

Yes

UN ESCWA Facilities

Repeaters

(Locations)

UN ESCWA Facilities

Yes

UN ESCWA Facilities

VSAT

UN ESCWA Facilities

Yes

Yes

 

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telecommunications_in_Lebanon