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Lebanon telecoms market: Government continues ownership of leading mobile players
Lebanon - Telecoms, Mobile, Broadband and Forecasts - a new market research report on 2014-04-24 04:24:04
Lebanon holds a unique position in the Middle East telecoms industry given the continued high level of government ownership. While most fixed line incumbents in the region are government owned, Lebanese government ownership extends to the country´s two mobile operators. Market liberalisation and privatisation is a contentious issue as revenue from the telecoms industry contributes a significant proportion of the government´s budget.

Fixed line services are offered by telecoms incumbent Ogero, which has focused recently on network capacity upgrade and deployment activities to support delivery of broadband services; international capacity is expected to increase four fold following an agreement signed in early 2013 to acquire additional capacity.

Broadband availability is improving, with access available via DSL, fibre, WiMAX, WiFi, iBurst and 3G/LTE platforms. Despite the challenges of relatively poor infrastructure, Lebanon is home to a growing technology sector, complete with local startup incubators, designed to provide seed funding and mentoring to technology entrepreneurs. To address the infrastructure issue a number of start up hosting locations have emerged with the support of the government, in recognition of the importance of nurturing a local digital economy to contribute to overall economic development.

Mobile services are offered by the two government-owned operators, managed by Orascom Telecom of Egypt and Zain of Kuwait in return for a management fee. Not long after launching 3G services, both operators have now launched LTE services, underpinning a drive into mobile broadband and presenting a strong alternative to existing fixed offerings.

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