Alfa, the smaller of Lebanon’s two mobile operators, has announced that its technology partner Ericsson has completed the first phase of its network modernisation programme, after swapping legacy equipment for new systems upgradeable to 3G standard, reports Zawya.com. Alfa also confirmed it had chosen Ericsson as its strategic supplier for the next few years. Completion of the first phase of the network project has improved voice call quality, enhanced the ability of the network to handle additional subscribers, and allowed more flexibility in the provision of multimedia services, such as internet, video and games. Alfa also launched a new mobile pre-paid billing system on 7 April. The new charging system provides an easier way to recharge call credit, through any voucher card, without the previous need to call a special number. Moreover, when a SIM card’s non-activity validity date expires, the user is now able to reactivate their line within a maximum period of twelve days, by purchasing any recharge card, without the need to access Alfa’s website or pay any additional fee. The new system also expands the company’s capability to absorb a higher number of pre-paid lines, and allows it to provide new services such as SMS Roaming and GPRS Roaming.