3G stands for the ‘third generation’ of cellular data networks which allows mobile phones (and other devices capable of connecting to a cellular network) to send and receive data at high speeds.
Alfa is now offering the 3G+ mobile data network that features the HSPA+ technology, which provides users the ability to connect to the World Wide Web at a high speeds.
Alfa 3G+ brings together a selection of products and services that facilitates your everyday life whether you are using it on your mobile handset, laptop or tablet.
Enter the world of Alfa 3G+ and enjoy speed, interactivity, mobility, and productivity.
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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Lebanon Telecom, Alfa Mobile, Chairman and CEO, Marwan Hayek
There’s always room in the Lebanon mobile market to have another mobile operator in Lebanon. However, when the in the three mobile operators in Lebanon belong to the same owner it defeats the purpose. The purpose of launching a new mobile operator in Lebanon is to put pressure on the current mobile operators, from a competitive point of view: in order to drop prices, improve services. Launching a new mobile operator in Lebanon would not add any value to the current setup in Lebanon.
Interview with Marwan Hayek, Chairman and CEO of Alfa Mobile Lebanon
The mobile penetration rate in Lebanon currently stands as 28% ranking far behind other countries in the region, with Jordan for example having a penetration rate of 74% and Saudi Arabia a rate of 78%. What is your assessment of Lebanon’s telecom sector and what are the key opportunities and challenges ?
First of all, I think the penetration rate stands much higher than 28%. Today we are at 55%. This sector represents a lot of potential growth opportunities for potential investors. The sector is highly regulated, it’s kind of a state-owned monopoly even though we have two operators in the country, but they are both owned indirectly and managed from a policy perspective by the government. This is limiting the competition between the two mobile players, leaving the sector without a lot of innovation on the services side.The consumer appetite and the budget is there; however we as operators have to be ready to offer the services the consumer is waiting for.
What is your perception of the regulatory environment in Lebanon ?
Frankly speaking we cannot really talk about regulatory environment in Lebanon because it is still a newly born entity. The TRA in Lebanon did not reach a level where it can play its own defined role as per the telecom law. Unfortunately we’re lacking a strong regulatory environment that can have the power to regulate the sector. Today it is still a state-owned sector.
When do you think privatization will take place ? If it takes place is ORASCOM going to beat Alfa ?
The government has announced recently that there will be no privatization in 2010 . However there are a lot of discussions taking place today on what way to take for the future of the sector. Various options are being considered, starting with a public- private partnership model whereby the public and the private will join hands in rebuilding the sector and investing in it. Another model is full privatization , and selling the assets to new investors. A third model is to continue with what we’re doing today, which is outsourcing the operations to telecom companies that have certain expertise in this field. It is unclear what the final scenario will be after 2010. As for ORASCOM : yes, ORASCOM is very keen on entering the Lebanese market as an investor. That is why we are here and supporting the government, ready to bring any experience we can from other markets.
MTC Touch remains the largest mobile operator with a subscriber base of 1.168 million compared to your subscriber base of one million and ninety thousand. How do you tackle competition from them?
In the last one year, we managed to grow the subscriber base by almost doubling it. We managed to revamp the entire infrastructure be it on the networks side or the IT side. There was a massive modernization that took place last year to swap all the old systems we had and replace them with newer technologies which gave us a certain edge or advantage from a technological point of view. What is still missing is innovation; new services that we need to offer to be competitive enough and appealing to various segments of the customer base especially the youth segment which offers a lot of potential in this country
How much differentiation can be offered on the market?
Not much; however, there’s still room for innovation. There are a few initiatives that we have in the pipeline, especially for 2010. We are interested in introducing some services like the Ring Back Tone service to the market, which is very appealing to the youth segment. Services like e-payment and mobile advertising are under discussion with the ministry. Hopefully, this will reposition Alfa as the main, if not the only GSM operator in Lebanon.
How much help do you receive from the government and the public sector?
Anything related to investment or capital is the government. There is total support given from the government to the operator. Being a part of ORASCOM – which is a regional telecom player – we get a lot of support and synergy on various aspects, starting from the purchasing power the group has which helps in reducing our costs to both Alfa and the ministry. Because we operate in other countries, we can tap into this source of expertise for an operation like Alfa here in Lebanon.
How do you assess Alfa’s performance, and what are the key challenges you are facing during this time?
Alfa’s performance during the first year of operation was impressive. We managed to double our base in less than one year. However, there are still a lot of things to do especially on the innovation and services side. Going forward, we have an ambitious plan. Hopefully we will be able to recover the leadership position in the local market.
Can you tell us about Alfa’s constant interest in corporate social responsibility?
This is a subject that is very dear to our hearts. We have many ongoing initiatives, mainly addressing the organizations we have in the country that deal with children, such as mentally handicapped children, deaf and mute children, and other various children’s associations. Another area that we have recently started associating with is women’s rights, whereby we have a plan that is being put in place today to boost this cause and develop it in the country.
What are the prospects of having a third mobile operator on the market?
There’s always room in the market to have another mobile operator.
“However, when the three operators belong to the same owner it defeats the purpose.”
The purpose of launching a new operator is to put pressure on the operators, from a competitive point of view: in order to drop prices, improve services.
“Launching a new operator would not add any value to the current setup in Lebanon.”
You have been appointed Alfa’s owner and CEO starting March 11, 2010. What is your vision for Alfa?
It is to really put my expertise at the service of the sector in Lebanon and to try to reposition the telecom sector in Lebanon as a main regional hub. We want to regain our market leadership position. We want to offer to our employees a better environment that will help them to produce better, and be more efficient at what they do. I hope to help Alfa play an active role in the development of the country.
The country has 1.37 million subscribers in total, or a 33.5% penetration rate.(January 2009)
|1||mtc touch||GSM GPRS EDGE||1.168 (June 2009)||Zain Group (Management Contract)|
|2||Alfa||GSM GPRS EDGE||0.854 (June 2009)||Orascom Telecom (Management Contract)|
|3||Ogero Mobile||GSM||not yet available||Ogero Telecom (lebanese government)|
|January 13th,2009: Orascom Telecom Holding S.A.E. (“Orascom Telecom” or“OTH”) announces that it has been awarded the management contract of one of the two Lebanese mobile telecommunications operators, operating under the brand name Alfa, which is owned by the Republic of Lebanon. The management contract extends for one year and is renewable for another year.|
|Alfa is the brand name of one of the two Lebanese mobile networks owned by the Republic of Lebanon. Alfa is managed by Orascom Telecom Holding (OTH) starting February 1, 2009. Alfa capitalizes on its expertise in the telecom field in order to deliver a global and professional solution for the GSM sector in Lebanon. Its main target is to reach one million subscribers by end of 2009.|