State-owned Lebanese mobile operator Alfa Telecom, which is managed by Egypt’s Orascom Telecom has began its pilot phase of its third-generation (3G) network.

The pilot is due to last until 20 October with 200 participants.

The 3G roll-out in Lebanon is a sensitive issue as some of the internet service providers in the country have accused the government of acting illegally by failing to obtain the 3G licence from the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), the only body in the country with the right to issue licences.

Alfa has installed more than 250 new base stations to cover the pilot area, which extends from Beirut and Mount Lebanon up to the Amchit coast.