Lebanon Businessnews News

Sehnaoui: 3G technology to shove GDP
Trial phase of third generation communications network starts next week
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The Minister of Telecommunications Nicolas Sehnaoui said that starting next week the ministry will begin a one month trial phase of the third generation communication technology (3G).

Sehnaoui said, in a press statement, that the trial period will start next Tuesday (September 20) during the Social Media Network week, hosted by the Engineering Faculty at St. Joseph University.

The minister said that the trial will include 4,000 individuals selected randomly. He said that 1,000 of the trials will be offered to college students from ten universities. The Telecoms Ministry also allocated two 3G trial subscriptions to each media institution.
Phase one of the 3G implementation, which will begin after the trial period, will be limited to data, excluding images. The 3G technology would not require subscribers to change their phone lines, it will be available for all ‘smart phones’ (like Blackberry, I-Phone, and others). Sehnaoui said that the first phase of the 3G technology would cover the area of Beirut alone. “The service will be available to other regions once the networks are ready,” he said.

The cost of the service will be identified and announced on October 20. According to Sehnaoui, “the ministry will work to provide the service at the lowest price possible so that it would be available to all consumers.”

Citing World Bank estimates, Sehnaoui said that a ten percent increase of the penetration rate (number of subscribers) in the Mobile Broadband contributes to a growth of one percent in the GDP. He said that each ten percent increase of penetration for the Internet Broadband contributes to a 1.38 percent growth of GDP. Hereby, Sehnaoui said, Lebanon will achieve not less than two percent growth in 2012 after launching the 3G services.

According to figures by the International Telecommunication Union, Lebanon had 31 Internet users per 100 inhabitants, below the global average of 35 users and the Arab average of 32 users.
Date Posted: Sep 16, 2011
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