MTC Touch aims to boost market share

Lebanese mobile operator eyes additional subscribers after investing in network upgrade

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By  Roger Field Published  May 7, 2009

Lebanese mobile operator MTC touch has built 150 new cell sites as part of a drive to expand the capacity of its network.

The company, which recently announced that it had gained its millionth customer, added new cell sites in areas including Greater Beirut, Beirut Central District, Sidon, Nabatiyeh, Jezzine, Byblos, Batroun, Tripoli, the Metn, Keserwan, the Chouf, Zahle and other parts of the Bekaa. The company said it had also upgraded existing cell sites.

Claude Bassil, general manager, MTC Touch, said that the company plans to expand the network with more cell sites “very soon”.

MTC Touch, which is managed by Kuwait based Zain Group, is Lebanon’s leading mobile operator. The company has a market share of 57%, and competes with one other mobile operator, Orascom-managed Alfa, which has about 600,000 subscribers.

Both companies have been focusing on improving and expanding their networks after Lebanon’s Council of Ministers announced a number of reforms at the start of the year, aimed at forcing the operators to increase their reach and subscriber base while lowering call charges.

The council set a target for the two operators to add 400,000 subscribers to their networks by the end of the year.

Lebanon has among the highest mobile tariffs and the lowest teledensity rates in the Middle East, with a mobile penetration rate of just 33%.

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