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Alfa launches LTE service in Beirut

Lebanon's first LTE network starts operating in Beirut

Alfa launches LTE service in Beirut
The service, a first in Lebanon, is available by USB dongle or broadband SIM card in a tablet.

Alfa, one of Lebanon's two mobile operators, launched LTE services in parts of Beirut last week.

The service, which is a first in Lebanon, is available using a USB dongle or by directly inserting a mobile broadband SIM card into a tablet. Alfa, which is managed by Egypt's Orascom Telecom, said that the service will be available on LTE-compatible smartphones at a later stage.

The LTE network provides speeds of up to 30-40 Mbps, which is six to 10 times the current internet speed, the telco said.

Alfa launched the network a few months after its first successful tests which were conducted in the fourth quarter of 2012.

The operator is offering customers an initial balance of $19 when they buy a prepaid mobile broadband data SIM card.

"With this amount you can subscribe to a data bundle, or you can top up your account and choose from seven data bundles tailor-made to meet your needs," the telco stated.

However, not all Alfa customers appeared to be impressed by the announcement and were more concerned by a network outage that occurred on Sunday. The outage resulted from network upgrade and customers complained that the operator should have informed them of the problem in advance.

One subscriber, Georges Asmar, made his feelings clear on Alfa's Facebook page: "It's not acceptable nowadays that your data connection be interrupted and out of service for any reason since many users and many companies are relying on your connection," his post read.

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