Lebanese broadband tariffs slashed under government directive

15 Aug 2017

Lebanese state-owned telco Ogero and private sector fixed ISPs including IDM, Cyberia and Sodetel have reduced some ADSL monthly internet tariffs by between 20% and 50% following a recent government directive, whilst their connection speeds and/or data volume quotas have been upgraded for other packages, reports Businessnews.com.lb. For instance, a USD12 package provided by both IDM and Cyberia previously offering 2Mbps with 10GB data now offers 4Mbps/15GB, whilst other packages capped at 2Mbps with unlimited data usage were reduced in price from USD50 to USD40 per month. Gabriel Deek, chairman of the Internet Society, Lebanon Chapter, confirmed that the directive to reduce tariffs was restricted to ADSL, not wireless broadband – although ISPs have upgraded certain wireless services to remain competitive, e.g. IDM doubled the data volume of a 1Mbps wireless access package to 60GB (remaining at USD40 per month).

The ADSL price reductions were prompted by a decrease in the monthly fee for international E1 lines (high speed digital links connecting private automatic branch exchange [PABX] switches to the Ministry of Telecommunications [MoT]/Ogero central office switches), from USD240 to USD110.

The MoT/Ogero also recently announced new 50Mbps fibre-optic broadband connection prices for offices and homes (USD50 for 300GB data per month, and USD160 for 1TB), although these direct fibre connections are not yet available via the private sector ISPs.

Minister of Telecommunications Jamal Jarrah also recently announced new prices for activating certain mobile SIMs/phone numbers. A basic pre-paid SIM card on either Touch Lebanon or Alfa networks can now be bought for USD3 (USD3.30 including VAT) – which includes USD3 initial phone credit – compared to the previous start-up cost of USD25. Contrary to some reports, monthly post-paid subscription tariffs were not reduced, although one-off prices for selected ‘premium’ post-paid mobile number activations were halved. A regular Touch/Alfa post-paid mobile line costs a one-off USD50 (USD55 including VAT) to set up, with a basic monthly plan starting at USD15 per month (prices unchanged).