Internet, fixed and mobile telephony: the new tariffs, in Lebanon, finally unveiled

The Lebanese Ministry of Telecoms finally put an end to the suspense that reigned over the new tariffs for fixed (Ogero) and mobile (Alfa and Touch) telephony and Internet during a press conference Thursday in Beirut.
According to the various officials present, including Minister Johnny Corm, the new grids approved last Friday by the Council of Ministers – during the last meeting in the context of which the government held full powers – should make it possible to ensure the sustainability of the networks. concerned, in a context of crisis marked among other things by a continuous collapse of the national currency (the dollar was trading Thursday against 35,000 pounds, a record), for almost three years, and a rationing of electricity which implies the use of generators to ensure a power supply. One of the most important costs to assume is therefore that of “energy”, which has been multiplied by “14” since the beginning of the crisis which is raging in Lebanon. An increase linked in particular to that of world prices. According to figures provided during the press conference, the energy costs of mobile operators absorbed 9% of their total revenue before the crisis, a proportion that exceeds 50% today.
The new prices will come into effect from July 1. The rates in pounds that we have calculated depend on the Sayrafa rate of Thursday evening, the date of the last update.

I – Mobile operators

For mobile operators, prices were, until now, displayed in dollars but payable in pounds, after a conversion at the official rate of 1507.5 pounds for one dollar, which no longer reflects the reality of the exchange rate ( 35,000 pounds to the dollar on Thursday).
In principle, the new grid plans to divide all current prices in dollars by three, then convert them at the Sayrafa rate (24,600 pounds for the dollar since Thursday evening), or any other mechanism that will replace it, specified the Minister, to obtain the amount to be paid in pounds.
The tariffs for communications through mobile phones are divided into prepaid card and subscriptions (post-paid). The prices of the various subscriptions and prepaid cards will be published “quickly” on the sites of the two operators.

For prepaid cards
According to the formula announced Thursday, the cost of the recharge card valid for one month goes for example from 22.73 to 7.58 dollars. This means that the recharge that users have paid until now 34,200 pounds would be billed at nearly 190,000 pounds at the Sayrafa rate on Thursday, if the entry into force of this new pricing took place today.
The prices in dollars of call minutes that can be made via these recharges as well as that of SMS have also been divided by three, going from 0.25 to 0.08 dollars for the first, 0.05 to 0.02 dollars for the latter.
In terms of data, the 500 megabits go from 10 dollars (15,075 pounds) to 3.5 dollars (86,100 pounds, at the Sayrafa rate on Thursday). Officials did not say whether the price of MB decreases by buying more data at once, as is currently the case.
According to the example put forward by the ministry to summarize all these changes, the prepaid card which allows 10 minutes of call and offers 500 MB of mobile data will now cost 2.94 dollars, or 70,500 pounds according to the calculations of the ministry, against 9.23 dollars or 14,000 pounds previously.

For subscriptions
With regard to post-paid subscriptions, the fixed part was divided by 3, going from 15 dollars (22,600 pounds at the official rate) to 5 dollars (123,000 at the Sayrafa rate).
The price of minutes has gone from 0.11 to 0.04 dollars, while the prices of SMS and data are identical to those of prepaid cards (ie 0.08 for an SMS and 3.5 dollars for 500 MB).
According to the ministry’s example, a user who would have consumed 100 minutes of calls and 500 MB of mobile data without sending an SMS previously paid 41 dollars or 62,000 pounds at the official rate and payment after July 1 of 14.17 dollars or 340 000 pounds.

II-Telephony and Fixed Internet

The new fixed Internet tariffs have already been published on the Ogero site, the dedicated office. Its general manager, Imad Kreidieh completed the picture during the press conference.

Telephony
The price of a call minute has not been changed: from 28 to 49 pounds per minute for a call to another fixed line depending on whether you are in “peak hour” (from 7 a.m. to 9 pm) or not, and 166 pounds for a call to a mobile in Lebanon, regardless of the time of day. These prices do not include VAT.
The prices of certain services have been raised, such as for changes of address (from 10,000 pounds to 25,000 pounds with VAT). Others have not changed, such as “freezing”, freezing the line so as to maintain it without paying additional costs during a period of absence, for example.

Internet
For the Internet, the principle is that all prices denominated in pounds have been multiplied on average by a factor of 2.5, but with differences depending on the plans.
For the Internet, the subscription intended for individuals offering 40 Gb per month at 52,000 pounds will have an equivalent in the new grid billed at 60,000 pounds, i.e. an amount multiplied by 1.15, for a consumption there also doubled (80 Gb) . The price corresponds to a connection speed capped at 4 megabits per second (Mbps). Note that the subscription capped at 2 Mbps unlimited via DSL, which appears in Ogero’s price list, has disappeared, but has been replaced by a subscription at a maximum speed of 2.3 Mbps, with a quota of 300 GB for 250,000 books.
Unlimited plans, in terms of data used, cost between 175,000 pounds to 325,000 pounds, depending on the speed chosen (from 6 Mbps to the maximum speed allowed by the connection). If the user opts for maximum speed, he will have to pay between 90,000 pounds and 250,000 pounds, depending on the quota of data allowed (100 to 300GB).
Regarding optical fiber (faster than ADSL), users will have to pay between 175,000 and 325,000 pounds for a subscription, whose connection speeds vary from 6 Mbps to 50 Mbps. If they wish to benefit from the maximum speed allowed by fiber, subscriptions vary between 300,000 pounds and 900,000 pounds.

RQ: Details on 2G and 3G access restriction issues will follow.

The Lebanese Ministry of Telecoms finally put an end to the suspense which reigned concerning the new tariffs for fixed (Ogero) and mobile (Alfa and Touch) telephony and Internet during a press conference Thursday in Beirut. According to the various officials present , including Minister Johnny Corm, the new grids approved last Friday by the Council of Ministers…

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Internet, fixed and mobile telephony: the new tariffs, in Lebanon, finally unveiled


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