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 Monday, November 07, 2011

­Lebanon's government has announced that the country's two mobile networks will be formally permitted to launch 3G services following several delays. Telecoms Minister Nicolas Sehnaoui also announced that the service would be fixed at the equivalent of US$19 for 500Mb of data downloads.

Lebanon's two state-owned - but francished operators, Alfra and MTC, will offer 3G subscriptions and will announce the rates for other packages in early November. There had been concerns earlier this summer that legal action from an ISP, Cedarcom could delay the launch as it is claiming that the government doesn't have the authority to issue the 3G licenses.

The company also claimed that the regulatory regime is blocking it from selling landline DSL based services, which it considers to be unfair and unjust competition. The two networks, which while state-owned, are managed by two private companies, Zain and Orascom Telecom, recently awarded contracts to deploy HSPA enabled 3G networks. The managing companies have renewing one-year contracts to look after the networks - which the government has repeatedly attempted to privatise but the sale has been blocked by political problems.

Source: Cellular News