On July 1st, Lebanese Minister for Telecommunications Mr Boutros Harb will launch a five year national telecommunications strategy that is aimed to energize the performance of the sector in Lebanon. The Minister told that it will take five years to complete the strategy but people in Lebanon will see a positive difference in the performance of the telecom sector within the first three months of the project’s initiation.
The Minister explained that the new strategy includes a plan to provide Lebanon with a fiber optic network and 4G services to cover the whole administrative territories that comes under Lebanon’s governance.
The Minister explained that a fiber optic network already exists in Lebanon but only connects centers together for the time being. He expressed his Ministry’s planning to go ahead with connecting homes with fiber optic cables. The extension of current fiber optic networks would be Fiber to the Home networks.
Fiber to the home or FTTH is the last mile connection technology that utilizes optical fiber all the way from central office to the subscriber’s home. If the connection is made to the business, it is termed as Fiber to the Business or FTTB, which is an acronym for Fiber to the Building also. FTTH is the fastest available broadband access technology to deliver high speed high bandwidth multiple services to multiple subscribers. Fiber could successfully replace copper infrastructure such as telephone wires and coaxial cables.
FTTH is a relatively new and fast growing method of providing much higher bandwidth to consumers and businesses, thereby enabling seamless and uninterrupted video, Internet and voice services.
The project will be fully financed by the Telecommunications Ministry budget, the Minister confirmed. Mr. Harb also explained that around 75 percent of problems facing citizens when it comes to Internet connectivity is due to malfunction in the copper cables linking their computers to the buildings they live in.
The ministry has decided to appoint around 30 technicians dedicated to receiving complaints from citizens to solve their Internet problems within 24 hours, apart from launching an awareness campaign to draw the attention of citizens to the real causes behind their connection problems in order to stop blaming the ministry. Mr. Harb also said the ministry would soon launch a new mobile operator tender as part of a plan to revamp the telecoms sector.
The Cabinet extended until the end of 2015 the existing management contracts for the country’s two state-owned mobile networks, currently managed under short-term renewable contracts by Kuwait’s Zain Group (under the touch brand) and Egypt’s Orascom Telecom Media and Technology Holding (OTMT, under the Alfa brand).
The Minister told that they will give a chance for new companies to enter the tender and will grant the new companies a contract for three years until privatization takes place. By doing do, new companies will come and provide better services to citizens.