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The Role of the ISP in MENA: The Lebanese Perspective. ITU Conference Oman, May 2001 Rami Majzoub Reuters. * Any opinion in this presentation represents the speaker’s personal views. Agenda. =>ISPs in MENA<= ISPs in Lebanon Case Study (Lebanon-Cyberia)

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the role of the isp in mena the lebanese perspective

The Role of the ISP in MENA: The Lebanese Perspective

ITU Conference

Oman, May 2001

Rami Majzoub

Reuters

*Any opinion in this presentation represents the speaker’s personal views

agenda
Agenda
  • =>ISPs in MENA<=
  • ISPs in Lebanon
  • Case Study (Lebanon-Cyberia)
  • Future Role of ISPs in the Region
isps in mena enlarging the targeted audience
ISPs in MENA: Enlarging the Targeted audience
  • Some ISPs have decided to develop strategy only by focusing on the community of their “connected” subscribers.
  • More ambitious ISPs are targeting the 3.5 million Arab Internet users.
  • A minority targeting triple that figure with the convergence of mobile users
strategic stakes

TECHNOLOGY

CONNECTIVITY

Strategic stakes

“A Triangular Edge for a Successful ISP”

CONTENT

connectivity access
Connectivity & Access
  • Speed:Dial-up (still the most frequent),Leased Lines (almost all countries), ISDN, ADSL
  • Cost (Still high in most MENA countries ex. Most Moroccan Internet users go online in a cybercafé (58.3 percent) or at work (53 percent). Only 29% have home connection)
content key to isps
Content key to ISPs
  • Portals (real time information section & building communities )
  • Creates stickiness to a site =>more traffic and/or airtime revenue, Advertising
  • Easy to program into web sites (XML delivery)
incorporating media content in isp
Incorporating Media Content in ISP
  • Media, especially newspapers, are investing in e-versions to win new readership and advertising revenue.
  • Inter-generated (Hiring internal team)
  • Outside provider
  • Mix of the two- using editorial teams to supplement and expand on content from wires and other providers
incorporating financial sites content in isp
Incorporating Financial sites content in ISP
  • Tapping e-trading through partnerships with financial institutions
  • Online banking in MENA still lacks many services because of lack of financial regulations in the area or weak e-commerce infrastructure provided by ISP
capitalizing on content
Capitalizing on content
  • Capitalize on content sections to raise capital from incubators in Europe.
  • Advertising (will reach $70 million in 2004)
  • Partnerships (Wanadoo in Morocco & Lebanon)
technology challenge
Technology Challenge
  • Broadband access (DSL, Cable, etc…)
  • WEB services & “E-infrastructure”
  • GPRS/3G introducing new ISP challenge
  • Convergence
strategic stakes1

TECHNOLOGY

CONNECTIVITY

Strategic stakes

“A Triangular Edge for a Successful ISP”

CONTENT

obstacles for isp development
Obstacles for ISP Development
  • Non availability of developed infrastructure which leads to:
    • Higher basic necessary investment values; thus High subscription price
    • Lower Service Standard (traffic on Access lines which is not abundant, Bandwidth, etc..)
  • Limited no. of Domicile computer installations.
  • Non encouragement of Authorities to enter the Internet for censorship reasons
  • Non availability of clear legalization for what concerns the wide and developed services that Internet provides (ex. Voice over IP)
slide14

Agenda

  • ISPs in MENA
  • =>ISPs in Lebanon<=
  • Case Study(Lebanon-Cyberia)
  • Future of ISPs in the Region
why lebanon
Why Lebanon?
  • Lebanon has been one of the pioneers of the ISP market with DM in 1995
  • Lebanon is witnessing one of the most active ISP mergers & acquisitions
  • Lebanon anticipates the ISP trends in the Arab world (move towards portal & ISP business, etc..)
statistics

46%

15%

9%

Statistics

Number of Subscribers / country Lebanon/MENA

Source: Inconet

lebanon current situation
Lebanon: Current Situation
  • 30 Licensed ISPs
  • Only 15 operational
  • Five Controlling the market
  • The leading ISP (Cyberia) owning almost 50% of the market
  • 350,000 users and 125,000 subscribers
isp ventures
ISP Ventures
  • Cyberia (#1) acquired Intracom (ex #4) in Spring 2000
  • Inconet (top 3) teamed up with Bank Audi to offer Unlimited Internet “for free”
  • Lynx (# 5) was bought by PSINET before buying back again & becoming Fiberlink
  • Terranet & Data Management teamed up with other banks (Credit Libanais) or Telcos
isp multi business
ISP = “multi business”
  • Intracom launched a very successful call back business before government restriction and being bought by Cyberia
  • Many ISPs focus on selling leased lines
  • ISPs doing web design & Internet consultancy
  • ISPs providing ASPs service
isp portal
ISP = Portal?
  • Cyberia => www.thisiscyberia.com
  • Data Management=> www.yalla.com.lb
  • Inconet portal
  • Terranet: A bilingual portal (English, French)
  • No one has Arabic yet!
the branding of isp
The branding of ISP
  • Inconet => corporate image
  • Data Management => pro internet
  • Terranet relying on telco infrastructure
  • Fiberlink => high speed network
  • Cyberia => “Internet for everyone”: 96% identify Cyberia as “the ISP” in Lebanon
slide22

Agenda

b
  • ISPs in MENA
  • ISPs in Lebanon
  • =>Case Study (Lebanon-Cyberia)<=
  • Future of ISPs in the Region
cyberia case company profile
Cyberia case: Company profile
  • In 1995 Transmog Inc. SAL was established to offer Telecommunications services to the Lebanese market and later that year it began its work by deregulating the Lebanese wireless data communications market. In 1996 Transmog Inc. SAL obtained licenses that grant it the right to offer VSAT communications and Internet Services. Cyberia is a Transmog Inc. SAL trademark that was subsequently created to provide the Lebanese market with Internet Access, Online Publishing and Online Services. After its launch in the fourth quarter of 1996, Cyberia quickly established itself as the leading Internet services provider.In 1998 Cyberia launched a Consulting group to offer turnkey services to other Telecommunications companies in the region
cyberia case milestones
Cyberia case: Milestones
  • 1996: Cyberia is licensed to offer Internet services and connect to the International Internet backbone
  • 1997: Cyberia launches real-time user activation using Internet Starter-kits and Cyber credits
  • 1998: Cyberia launches online daily news
  • 1999: Cyberia wins turnkey consulting contract to set-up an internet provider operation in KSA
  • 2000: Cyberia acquires Intracom, the 4th largest ISP in Lebanon, launches its portal www.thisiscyberia.com
cyberia case value added services
Cyberia case: value added services
  • Internet Starter Kit, Cyber credits solds in pharmacies (equivalent of prepaid cards)
  • Software download center
  • Webmail
  • Interactive voice services
  • Free fax
  • Live broadcasting of music events
  • Online news center (Reuters, Daily Star, weather, etc…)
cyberia case social role
Cyberia case: Social role
  • Sponsored many car rallies and contributed to enhance the idea of a dynamic connected society (Internet in buses and pharmacies)
  • Provided at a certain period in time a window to the Internet world for Syrian citizen
  • New dimension of journalism with “online journalism” allowing itself to tackle with sometimes censored topics.
  • Building communities: Launching of forums and debates on many controversial issues.
  • Internet for Education: Widening Internet presence in schools
cyberia case the government
Cyberia case: The Government
  • Legal framework forbids VOIP & callback system
  • Might play a role in E-government, which needs a boost from private sector
  • Trying new logistics with Libanpost, Mailboxes etc...
  • Pushing for ADSL.
cyberia case projects plans
Cyberia case: Projects & plans
  • E-Commerce system tailor made to the requirement of each Arabic country
  • Expansion in Jordan & Syria
  • Prospective deals with GSM operators in Lebanon
  • Moving to be an ASP
  • Consultancy services: services for billing
  • Public key infrastructure once legal framework is there
slide30

Agenda

  • ISPs in MENA
  • ISPs in Lebanon
  • Case Study(Lebanon-Cyberia)
  • =>Future of ISPs in the Region<=
back to our roots
Back to our Roots?
  • As Internet use widens in the Arab world the rate of users capable of thoroughly benefiting from English-language web sites drops, and that’s more the case in Saudi Arabia.
  • Today more than 45 percent of Internet users in the Arab world lack the English language skills required for full understanding of English web sites.
  • By 2004 this group will constitute more than 60 percent of the entire Internet user community in the region.
heterogeneous user base
Heterogeneous User Base
  • GCC users asking for Arabic
  • North Africa divided between English/Arabic (Egypt) & French (Morocco)
  • Middle East divided user patterns (Syria closer to GCC)
mobile content for m isp
Mobile Content for M-ISP?
  • Business Services (e-mail fax, Intranet, Extranet)
  • Transaction Services (purchasing, banking)
  • Location Services (using GIS, cell location, etc..)
  • Information (newspaper portals, business directories, cinema, weather...)
  • Entertainment (games, horoscopes, lottery, sports)
  • SMS Headlines
future consolidation for isps in mena
Future Consolidation for ISPs in MENA?
  • The industry is undergoing rapid consolidation towards a more mature market with the emergence of regional players that can leverage the economies of scale, and provide a solid service” (AAG)
  • Under capitalization of ISPs
will isp still exist in the future
Will ISP still exist in the future?
  • ASP
  • M-ISP?
  • ?
  • …The debate is on!...