It is a pleasure to be part of another industry-leading networking opportunity offered by Telecom Review, our longtime telecom media partner, here in Dubai at significant and transformational times for the telecoms sector in Lebanon and the region. The new “It’s all About Networking” Summit comes nearly seven months after we all gathered in Beirut, thanks to a joint effort by Alfa and Telecom Review, supported by the Lebanese Ministry of Telecoms, in what was considered one of the biggest industry gatherings and set Lebanon as a leading telecoms hub in the region.
I am glad to share with you the key milestones we went through since we met in April 2017, and the most recent of which is the completion of the nationwide deployment of our 4G+ network. Our plan to have each and every Alfa subscriber covered with the LTE-A advanced network, has now been realized, enabling our data users, who constitute a massive 75 percent of our data base, to use the internet at an average speed reaching 250 mbits/sec. Covering all the Lebanese population with a high speed, low latency and high throughput wireless broadband connection empowers people living in rural areas and increases mobile penetration nationally hence serving our sustainable business model.
With our 4G+ network reaching completion, Alfa is once again leading the modernization of the mobile networks and is the first in Lebanon to complete this expansion and network upgrade cementing our long time efforts, starting from 3G+ to 4G and now 4G+, which set Alfa as a leader in technology innovation regionally and locally.
As we now gear up to 5G, our next on the roadmap, Alfa, not only eyes network expansion and growth but also sees it as an opportunity that will open the Internet of Things (IoT) door and allow us to tap this domain dynamically. IoT is the industry revolution that operators are capitalizing on in order to alleviate the decline of the traditional revenue streams, and Alfa is in a pioneering position to be the IoT enabler in Lebanon capitalizing on our key strengths (data and radio coverage, distribution channels, sales forces, customer support, big data infrastructure, among others..), thus enabling the proliferation of applications that we will be able to build around it in active partnerships with IoT partners.
The effort we have put in infrastructure development especially in recent years, in close coordination with the Lebanese government and Ministry of Telecoms, has been along with price reduction endeavors, and our diversified and compelling offerings, the major contributors to the growth of the Lebanese ICT market size. We have put a challenging expansion roadmap for the next four years, with investments planned in further modernizing our infrastructure for the purpose of expanding our network by more than 40% and deploying innovative billing and data platform solutions. Our focus on growing the revenues will translate into the deployment of additional Value Added Services and platforms enabling a tailor made offering to our customers and further segmentation.
This planned expansion and our promising roadmap for the upcoming years reflect our commitment to GDP growth and to the 2030 agenda for Sustainable Development and especially Sustainable Development Goal 8 (SDG8) (Decent work and Economic Growth) and SDG9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure).
We remain committed to expanding infrastructure and upgrading technology, enabling job creation, entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation as part of our journey of being the role model corporate citizen and the digital service provider, of choice!