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Unions urge mobile subscribers to boycott airwaves

9 Jul 2004

Lebanon’s Chamber of Industry and Trade and the Beirut Trade Association are among a number of official bodies calling on the nation’s cellphone users to boycott using their handsets on 15 July in a bid to put pressure on the government to lower mobile phone tariffs, which they claim are amongst the highest in the world. The protestors claim that 500 minutes of calls in Lebanon costs USD121, compared to USD66 in Jordan and USD42 in Egypt. In addition to a 30% reduction in airtime charges, the unions are calling for the introduction of per-second billing and an extension to the expiry dates on pre-paid top up cards. It is estimated that the boycott, which is being coordinated by the Consumers Lebanon Association, will cost the government in the region of USD2.8 million in lost revenues. The unions claim that if the authorities fail to act, numerous further boycotts will be organised.


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