Lebanon Businessnews News

Telecom tariffs to decrease
Internet speed to double and
remote areas to be connected
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The Ministry of Telecommunication (MoT) announced yesterday an eight-week plan to decrease tariffs on telephone calls and Internet usage.

The MoT said that it will be doubling the Internet speed. “We are studying the possibility of providing an Internet bundle without ceiling or consumption limitation,” said Minister Boutros Harb. He said that they will be working on bringing DSL to remote areas that are still deprived of this service. They will also introduce e-bill payment using credit cards.

The cost of international phone calls will be cut by half. Prepaid cards, Telecarte, and Kalam will be reactivated with up to 50 percent discount in prices. Tariffs for land lines will be decreased as well: New subscriptions will become free instead LL50,000. The monthly subscription cost will be be decreased to LL8,000 from LL12,000.

Municipalities will receive their shares of the land line tax for 2013. Around 900 municipalities will profit from more than $40 million. Municipalities will also receive their shares from the income of mobile phone lines for 2010 to 2013.

The Ministry of Telecommunication said that it will extend mobile phone operators contracts for three additional months. This period will pave the way for a long-awaited tender. Based on the new contracts, operators will reduce their fees by around $5.5 million. According to Wael Ayyoub, Chief Operating Officer at Touch, this amount is not official yet. He said: “What is confirmed so far is that there will be a decrease, and that a new system to calculate the fees will be adopted which includes management fees and fees per user.”

Harb said that these changes will decrease the income of the Treasury, but will be to the citizen’s advantage.
Reported by Rana Freifer
Date Posted: Mar 27, 2014
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