April 2013 date set for domestic fibre completion, paving way for 4G, FTTH

7 Nov 2012

Lebanon will complete a project to link telecoms switchboards across the country with high speed fibre-optic transmission links in April 2013, telecoms minister Nicolas Sehnaoui announced at the weekend. The ‘comprehensive’ domestic fibre network would result in raising internet connection speeds by a multiple up to ten times, said the minister, as reported by Zawya.com. Sehnaoui was speaking at the launch of a network operations centre (NOC), which forms part of a project being carried out by Swedish equipment provider Ericsson, which last year won a USD6.3 million contract for the first phase of setting up a domestic optical transport network. He added that higher connection speeds would be made available in April to internet access providers including the country’s two mobile network operators, Alfa and Touch, as well as hospitals and educational facilities. At a later stage, he said that households would be granted direct access to the fibre network after a tender for building a fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network is held later this year. The news follows Alfa’s announcement that it was carrying out 4G LTE tests, while Touch is expected to follow suit. TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database says that, following international internet capacity upgrades, the government issued a formal directive in September 2011 to speed up fixed internet connections by between four and eight times (up to 8Mbps), to lower retail DSL costs by 80% and to increase monthly data allowances for broadband users. However, full national rollout of faster speeds based on ADSL2+ connections required fixed line incumbent Ogero to complete equipment upgrades including finishing its fibre-optic transmission backbone rollout to all parts of the country, which at the time was expected to be completed in the second half of 2012.

Lebanon, Ministry of Telecommunications (MoT), Ogero Telecom