Surf's up in Lebanon: Internet speeds increase dramatically

Published November 11th, 2012 - 03:00 GMT
Internet speeds in Lebanon have improved dramatically as the country prepares for 4G connectivity
Internet speeds in Lebanon have improved dramatically as the country prepares for 4G connectivity

A Telecommunications Ministry report issued Friday said Internet connection speed in Lebanon has significantly increased between June 2011 and June 2012. “[Telecom Ministry] initiatives have started to bear results.

[Internet connection] Speed has improved by 15 and 18 times on the fixed-line and mobile networks respectively,” said Telecoms Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui in the introduction of the report dubbed “One Year Progress Report June 2011-June 2012.”

 “International connectivity has increased 11 times and will soon be redundant with the purchase of an 800 Gbps [Gigabyte per second] capacity on the Alexandaros submarine cable,” the minister added. The report said submarine cable capacity increased 11 times to reach 33 Gbps up from 3 Gbps a year ago. 

The report said Internet prices for companies and private individuals have decreased by 80 percent as the number of DSL and mobile broadband subscribers has risen 20 percent and 158 percent respectively.

Mobile service prices decreased by 40 percent between June 2011 and June 2012. It added that 4th generation mobile networks are ready for deployment. “The new network is 4G-ready.

When the decision is taken to move 4G, it will be sufficient to modify the cards of existing antennas. 

“The Lebanese were greatly enthusiastic about 3G; in 11 months, the number of users increased by 158 percent to reach more than 722,000 subscribers in May 2012,” the report said. 

The report puts forward the ministry’s vision for the sector, highlighting the importance of ensuring an abundant international connectivity, establishing rules for transparent and fair competition, and making Lebanon an attractive place for international investments in the telecoms sector. 

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