Ericsson sees mobile broadband as key to Lebanon’s telco growth and reformation

Mobile Broadband empowers businesses, societies and stimulates the country’s economic growth.

Tags: EricssonLebanon
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By  Ashford Published  June 15, 2010

Ericsson, the world’s leading provider of telecommunication equipment and services to operators, participated in the Lebanon Business Roundtable hosted by the Economist on June 15 in Beirut.

Moderated by The Economist Group, the forum which featured high-level speakers from the public and the private sectors as well as from the international business, served as a vehicle to explore the opportunities that businesses have to help Lebanon unleash its full potential. One such case in point is the field of telecommunications, which offers untapped potential for growth.

At the event, Anders Lindblad, Head of Ericsson’s Middle East Region said, “The telecommunication industry has created a revolution in the way people communicate today. Undisputedly, mobile broadband is at the forefront of this revolution as it empowers societies and contributes to the sustainable social and economic development of a country.”

Lindblad’s words are supported by the 2009 World Bank Research which indicates that there is a direct link between providing mobile communications and economic growth as mobile broadband benefits societies, businesses and individuals by bridging the digital divide, increasing work efficiency and making health care and education accessible to everyone.

Lindblad said, “We need to continue to provide for technology efficiencies, especially in mobile broadband by not only looking within our own sector, but also by applying the smart use of ICT to other sectors to help them meet their energy consumption targets. We have demonstrated that telecoms deliver solutions that can assist the transition to a global low-carbon economy and this has become a core to our vision.”

Nowadays there is a shift in consumer behaviour with mobile data surpassing voice on a global level. The usage of social networking sites on mobile devices and mobile broadband-based PCs now account for a large percentage of mobile data traffic. In Lebanon, for example, Facebook users total almost 1 million and they will gradually ask to be connected anywhere and at anytime, Lindblad said. Furthermore, Lebanon’s mobile penetration rate reached 60% in the end of 2009 with massive growth of about 23% compared to last year. The predictions for 2010 are even more optimistic as these numbers are expected to grow even more due to the country’s large expat community that visits Lebanon and prefers to use a Lebanese mobile number and to the non-Lebanese nationals who visit the country and use a local line.

The growth of mobile data traffic will trigger further development spearheaded by mobile broadband. However, such technological transformation requires significant network modernization and transformation to all-IP-based technologies and new support systems. This technology upgrade, will, in turn, lead to scalable efficiency gains in other sectors. Broadband infrastructure and a large number of devices that need to be connected is the starting point, industry leaders agreed at the event.

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