Alfa, the first Lebanese mobile operator managed by Orascom Telecom since February 2009, announces the official launch of the 3G+ service to Alfa subscribers and mobile users in Lebanon, allowing them to address their mobile broadband digital needs in a faster and convenient way.
Commenting on the 3G+ launch, Alfa Chairman & CEO, Eng. Marwan Hayek said, “We extend our congratulations to all Lebanese for this milestone and historical moment. Mobile users in Lebanon have been highly anticipating the 3G+ service, and we are proud to announce that this moment has finally come true thanks to the joint efforts of the Ministry of Telecommunications, Alfa and all our business partners.”
Alfa 3G+ coverage will be initially available to users in Greater Beirut, majority of Mount Lebanon in addition to the Northern coastal area up to Akkar. Gradually, but steadily, a nationwide coverage will be in place in the coming few months. Alfa Postpaid and Prepaid subscribers can subscribe to any 3G+ data plan and subscription will be automatically activated without the need to swap their SIM card.
Access to 3G+ basic voice and video call services will be provisioned without the need for a prior subscription to all Alfa subscribers holding 3G handsets. They will only have to configure their handsets to a dual mode (2G/3G) in order to be able to connect to the 3G+ network of Alfa.
Hayek commented, “The 3G+ connectivity in Lebanon transforms the way people communicate, by adhering to the mobility needs of mobile users, and enabling richer communication through offering a fast internet connectivity everywhere, anywhere, and new advanced services such as the Video Call, which will be now accessible to 3G capable handsets.” Adding: “In a bid to meet the market demand and the different needs of subscribers, Alfa has put at their service several offerings for data plans, 3G routers and USB dongles.”
3G+ Mobile internet and broadband data bundles will be offered to Alfa postpaid, prepaid and Waffer customers.
In addition, and with the aim of providing a full-solution internet access to users, Alfa will give them the option to purchase Alfa USB dongles (7.2 mbps and 28.8 mbps) and Alfa 21.6mbps routers, which they can purchase from all Alfa stores, and appointed points of sales.
Alfa users will exclusively enjoy the “Pay As You Go – PAYG” service, which allows them to opt to access the internet on their handsets without the need to subscribe to any of the above monthly data plans. PAYG provides flexibility and ad-hoc access to internet at the rate of $0.5/MB.
The Alfa 3G+ service will allow users to enjoy and access a wide range of exciting mobile services and applications. Among those, the “Video Call” feature will become available to all Alfa subscribers allowing them to have face-to-face conversations with friends, family, colleagues and clients via their handsets which support this feature at a cost of $0.4/min.
It’s worth mentioning that “Orascom Telecom Holding” (OTH) is the international leading mobile operator in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia and counts over 104 million subscribers.
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Alfa – the first Lebanese mobile operator managed by Orascom Telecom – is promising state-of-theart mobile broadband services through its unique nationwide 3.5G rollout aiming to bring back the glory days of the Lebanese telco sector. Telecom Review sat with Marwan Hayek, Chairman & CEO of Alfa, to discuss the 3.5G rollout preparations and expectations.
Alfa Telecom Cover Story on TELECOM Review Magazine July 2011 Issue 54 under title “Alfa: Promising State-of-the-Art 3.5G Mobile Broadband Services”
To Read all Story Click on Cover page of Telecom Review Left Picture, as a PDF
Source: TELECOM Review
In a promising endeavor that would revolutionize the world of Telecommunications in Lebanon, Alfa, the first Lebanese mobile operator managed by Orascom Telecom Holding, and Ericsson, the world’s leading telecom services provider, announced earlier this month that they have signed a partnership agreement for the deployment of the third-generation mobile communication technology (3G) in Lebanon.
The announcement coincides with Alfa‘s ongoing efforts to bring latest mobile technologies to users through introducing and delivering new and innovative services, while at the same time, expanding coverage and outreach.
Alfa Chairman & CEO, Mr. Marwan Hayek commented: "With trends in the dynamic telecommunications world progressing and evolving day after day, mobile users are not anymore voice centric. Indeed, mobile handsets have become an all-in-one platform enabling users to stay connected with their society either by voice, data, media or social networking. Alfa‘s 3G deployment will be tailored to meet specific Lebanese consumers’ needs with better voice quality and a bouquet of tailor made applications and services." Hayek continued: "Since Orascom Telecom Holding, took over the management of Alfa, we have embarked on an expansion plan from day one, and, once again, we will deliver latest mobile services to our customers through this renewed partnership with Ericsson, the best in class Telecom provider."
This new Alfa-Ericsson partnership comes to cement further an ongoing and long standing relationship between both parties that has traced over the years a proven track record of delivering successful projects, always on time. Commenting on the win, Tarek Saadi, President – Ericsson in North Middle East, said: "We are proud of our deep seeded roots in Lebanon with uninterrupted presence for that past 60 years. Today in Lebanon we employ more than 300 local engineers, technicians, and support staff. We are very excited about this new deal with Alfa which gives us an opportunity to contribute in bringing mobile broadband. Mobile broadband has transformed societies around the globe and has proven to improve productivity as well as education in effect increasing national wealth. These are exciting times when the Internet has gone mobile and broadband access through HSPA+ (very fast interconnection) allows the majority of customers, fast, and reliable connection to numerous applications including popular social-networking sites."
Alfa is the brand name of the first Lebanese mobile network managed by "Orascom Telecom Holding" (OTH) since February 2009. Alfa capitalizes on OTH expertise in the telecom field in order to deliver a global and professional solution for the GSM sector in Lebanon. Alfa has more than 1.2 million subscribers. For more information: www.alfa.com.lb
About Orascom Telecom
Orascom Telecom is a leading international telecommunications company operating GSM networks in high growth markets in the Middle East, Africa and Asia, having a total population under license of approximately 506 million with an average mobile telephony penetration of approximately 48% as of September 30th, 2010. Orascom Telecom operates GSM networks in Algeria ("OTA"), Pakistan ("Mobilink"), Egypt ("Mobinil"), Bangladesh ("banglalink"), North Korea ("koryolink") and Canada ("Wind Mobile") through its indirect equity shareholding in Globalive Wireless. In addition it has an indirect equity ownership in Telecel Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe) and through its subsidiary Telecel Globe; OTH also operates in Burundi, the Central African Republic and Namibia. Orascom Telecom reached almost 98 million subscribers as of September 30th, 2010. Orascom Telecom is traded on the Cairo & Alexandria Stock Exchange under the symbol (ORTE.CA, ORAT EY), and on the London Stock Exchange its GDR is traded under the symbol (ORTEq.L, OTLD LI). For more information visit www.orascomtelecom.com.
Our multimedia content is available at the broadcast room: www.ericsson.com/broadcast_room
Backgrounders on Ericsson http://www.ericsson.com/ericsson/press/facts_figures/index.shtml
Ericsson is the world’s leading provider of technology and services to telecom operators. Ericsson is the leader in 2G, 3G and 4G mobile technologies, and provides support for networks with over 2 billion subscribers and has the leading position in managed services. The company’s portfolio comprises mobile and fixed network infrastructure, telecom services, software, broadband and multimedia solutions for operators, enterprises and the media industry. The Sony Ericsson and ST-Ericsson joint ventures provide consumers with feature-rich personal mobile devices.
Ericsson has been doing business in Lebanon for 60 years now. Ericsson is advancing its vision of being the "prime driver in an all-communicating world" through innovation, technology, and sustainable business solutions. Working in 175 countries, more than 80,000 employees generated revenue of SEK 206.5 billion (USD 27.1 billion) in 2009. Founded in 1876 with the headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden, Ericsson is listed on NASDAQ OMX, Stockholm and NASDAQ New York.
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January 29, 2010, 07:03 AM EST
By Massoud A. Derhally
Jan. 29 (Bloomberg) — Lebanon will decide by the end of the year how to sell two mobile phone operators, which previous governments had hoped would raise as much as $7 billion.
“It’s complicated,” Minister of Telecommunications Charbel Nahas said in an interview at his office in Beirut. “We will decide the pattern or forms of private investment in the telecommunications industry by the end of the year.”
Plans to sell the mobile phone companies were put on hold because of an 18-month political crisis that eased in May 2008 and later by the global credit crisis and parliamentary elections in June of last year. Lebanon’s public debt reached $50.5 billion at the end of November, or 153 percent of gross domestic product.
“The process of bringing in investors has different techniques and it can be an IPO or a mix that includes a strategic partner,” Nahas said.
Former Minister of Telecommunications Marwan Hamadeh said in a January 2008 interview that the government would retain a third of the shares in the two companies, MTC Touch and Alfa.
Saudi Telecom Co., Emirates Telecom Corp., Qatar Telecom QSC, Kuwait’s Zain, Bahrain Telecom Co. and Orascom Telecom Holding SAE have all expressed an interest, Hamadeh said at the time.
Cost of Business
“Liberalizing the telecom sector, introducing competition and attracting private investors are essential not only to improve public finances, but more importantly to increase the competitiveness of the economy and reduce the cost of doing business,” said Nassib Ghobril, head of research at Byblos Bank SAL.
The government receives between $1 billion and $1.2 billion a year in revenue from the two operators, which is about 4 percent of GDP, Nahas said.
Lebanon has about 2.5 million mobile phone subscribers and is investing about $160 million this year in the industry’s infrastructure, Nahas said.
“Lebanon should sell the two networks along with the licenses for up to 25 years with predefined conditions on revenue sharing and taxation as this is what investors require,” said Jawad Abassi, founder and general manager of Arab Advisors Group.
–Editors: Philip Sanders, Ben Holland
To contact the reporter on this story: Massoud A. Derhally in Beirut, Lebanon at +9617-116-8620 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Source Bloomberg: Bloomberg Business Week