Lebanon broadband capabilities have shown significant improvement according to the “One Year Progress Report” published by the Ministry of Telecommunication covering the period from June 2011 till June 2012.
Over this period, the penetration rate for mobile broadband has increased to 17.2%, well above the average rate of 13.3% in the Arab states and slightly beating the world’s average of 17%. The key to this growth was the launching of the 3G network that attracted a 158% rise in mobile connections from 280,000 in June 2011 to 722,000 in May 2012. This figure was forecast by Business Monitor International to reach 1.461 million by the end of 2012 and 3.13 million by 2017 when 4G services would be well launched and established.
Regarding the fixed broadband and despite enhanced access speeds, faster data transfer rates and cut prices by around 80%, the ageing copper access still poses limitations to speed and quality especially during peak hours. A new fiber optic platform supplied by Ericsson will be introduced in April 2013 and will provide greater choice for operators and service providers at lower cost which can ultimately be passed on to customers. The fixed lines subscribers had increased to 854,000 by end of April 2012 with the number of DSL fixed customers increasing from 200,000 in October 2011 to 240,000 by May 2012, noting that illegal subscribers were estimated at around 150,000.
The Lebanon Brief – BLOM bank