Lebanon prepares for 4G

Lebanon prepares for 4G

Lebanon is preparing for the launch of 4G mobile networks in major cities are confirming it will link telecoms switchboards to fibre-optic networks in April 2013.

The country’s telecoms minister, Nicolas Sehnaoui, said there would be a qualitative shift in internet connection speeds, after an opening ceremony for a newly completed fibre-optic network operations centre (NOC).

Swedish vendor Ericsson was last year awarded a $6.3 million first phase bid to set up Lebanon’s Optical Transport Network, and the NOC is part of that project.

A tender for FTTH is planned for later this year and homes will then be granted access to a high-speed network.

Lebanese mobile operator Alfa has successfully completed a lab test on 4G LTE technology, and during the test 100Mbps speeds were achieved.

There were concerns from users of social networking site Twitter that the launch of 4G would have an adverse effect on mobile connection quality, but Sehnaoui dismissed such fears. Live experiments for 4G are planned for mid-November.

Despite a plan to overhaul the country’s internet connections in August 2011, with the government promising an 80% decrease in prices, customers have complained that not much has changed.

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