Monday, March 26, 2012

Internet In Lebanon

So today I will be blogging about the internet situation in Lebanon and how it evolved from 1993 to nowadays!

In 1993, while the fixed network Lebanese still suffering the aftermath of the Civil War, was decided to install a GSM network. The tender, launched in March 1993 ended in June 1994 with the signing of contracts with France Telecom Mobile International (FTMI) and Ericsson, two networks MIC1 and MIC2.
In May 1995, the GSM service will be effective with a network deployment, at the time this network has granted two months free usage to its new subscribers to test the service. Cost of service at the time: 5 cents per minute excluding tax, 2 cents of tax granted to municipalities as against 12 cents today.
 Similarly, while Lebanon since 1982 was connected to the Internet via the AUB (American University of Beirut), the global network will actually be introduced into Lebanese homes the same year, with the creation of an ISP in 1995 and will become operational in 1996. Through 2000-2001, it was in fact directly to ISPs (Internet Service Providers) to provide Internet access (ISP especially significant that only had a connection of around 700 KB / S for all its customers). There was also present in Lebanon, ComputServ, AOL etc. ... so major players through local representatives, without however this being official, as the details of the time this article papers / catafago.htmlSo it will change from 2000, with the provision by the Lebanese state, via the company Ogero, of connecting means other than satellite connections, and installation of hub particularly in Bir Hassan. Besides the interest "economic" to force the ISP to the state to buy their bandwidth and improve the finances of the state, high prices are passed primarily to customers. We can mention the case of a private university plan fitted by two T1 connections and who paid 60,000 usd per month for each of its campuses.
This was also the Lebanese state to consolidate Internet connections and better control.These include notably the case of the case "of lesbians from the AUB" or the broadcasting of live scenes of a homosexual Hamam of Tripoli in Northern Lebanon. The ISP sector was then marked by mergers and acquisitions in December 2001 or diversifications including abroad. This period was, moreover, marked by the dramatic growth of "cables", it was actually providing Ethernet Internet on a large scale, but still it was an illegal network, their primary access to the web from unlicensed the state via satellite or via unscrupulous ISP or at least looking at the use made by their customers of their services. Level "security" only two networks worthy of the name, that of BDL (Bank of Lebanon) and ISP (Internal Security Force), connected by a fiber optic network, the rest, the ISPs are largely low; by example, an ISP had its customer database directly accessible on the Internet, or access a computer to a Lebanese trader company, just with Internet Explorer.
DSL service announced in 2005 has been effective in 2008, meanwhile, there was a rise of erzats internet connection "Broadband" from 2003 to 2004
So the prices were about as such as we have received DSL: - 128Kbps (download) 64Kbps (upload) 2GB (quotas) for $ 20 - 256Kbps (download)  128Kbps (upload) 3GB (quotas) for $ 30-512Kbps (download) 256Kbps (upload) 4GB (quotas) for $ 50-1Mbps (download) 512Kbps (upload) 5GB (quotas) for $ 75Note that the speeds were THEORETICAL! We usually only received 70% of the promised speed (and again)These prices were due to several factors:- Prices are set by the state and their ISPs have no words to say-- E1 cables were sold by the state to ISPs has $ 1,350 (compared to $ 10 in France)- The connections were mostly via satellite- The single Ethernet cable land we came from Cyprus (our neighbors Syria and Israel loving us so much)- Political corruption (even African governments are not as corrupt as the Lebanese government)
In 2009 an event change all this. Indeed, Lebanon announces that it has signed its participation in the IMEWE (a project of submarine cable connecting India to France serving nine countries on its road; IMEWE = Indian Middle East Western Europe) in December 2010 the day of the inauguration and commissioning of the cable, telecommunications minister stop the project and cancel the inauguration saying that the ISP (Ogero) who will look after the cable has not paid the state the right to exercise control on the cable (everyone knowing that this is just an unacceptable excuse and that this is only the result of greater political problems, in fact the boss Ogero and the Minister belongs to different political parties) The funniest is that after this incident the minister who sabotaged all attempts to pose as savior of the telecommunication sector and Announces 3G for summer 2011 (which will arrive in November 2011) I should mention also that ISPs have only a one-year contract that is renewed each year (hello investments)
After a long and interminable wait "salvation" has arrived. The government has changed, the new Minister of Telecom has signed a decree allowing the use IMEWE cable, reducing the price of E1 cable ($ 1350 was $ 300) and packages (packages that are available to end users on October 2011) I leave you the pleasure of discovering these new package here: problems often encountered lately: frequent disconnection, reduced speed for no apparent reason, quotas still too low, the unavailability of these packages to all regions of Lebanon's infrastructure is weak. (Also changing ISP is equivalent to 1 month minimum of waiting if you're lucky)

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