Knowledge box

Touch enhances data plans and ensures high quality 4G services

Interview of Haitham Shibli, Service Quality Manager at Touch Lebanon on how Astellia is helping touch stay abreast of OTT providers.

Published on 09/03/17

Interview of Haitham Shibli, Service Quality Manager at Touch Lebanon

Touch Haitham

Touch is Lebanon’s n°1 operator with a market share of 53% and 2,3M subscribers. Touch is managed by Zain Group, the region’s first mobile and data services operator with a commercial footprint today in 8 Middle Eastern and African countries.

OTT providers put a lot of pressure on the market, how is Astellia helping you stay abreast of competitors? 

HS: As for all telecom operators, OTT providers – in our case especially YouTube, WhatsApp, Facebook and Viber – are using our infrastructure to deliver the content to customers. This has created a lot of challenges for us by forcing us to further upgrade and invest in infrastructure to ensure that our customers using these apps are having a good QoS, while at the same time the revenue generated is minimal compared to the expenses of the upgrade.


To be able to expand wisely, we depend on Astellia to know exactly which the most used applications in our network are. This allows us to dimension the network in the most effective and cost efficient way.

Can you give some use cases of how you are using Astellia’s solution to improve the overall customer experience?

HS: Sure, for instance, we have to give our premium customers and roamers the best service we can to ensure their satisfaction. We therefore monitor the performance and usage trends of our VIPs by using Astellia Nova Customer Analytics which gives us a clear visibility of their network experience.


Touch also leverages insights from Astellia’s solution to enhance the existing data plans.


The introduction of ‘social data bundle’, ‘post-paid data snacks’, and the ‘daily data bundle’, are all unique additions specifically created to encourage data users to connect to non-voice services in a way that they never did in the past.

Social data bundle

The Ministry of Telecom in Lebanon has recently launched ‘2020 Digital Telecom Vision’. One of its goals is to expand nationwide 4G coverage. How do you guarantee a good quality of service of new 4G sites?

HS: Telecom services have undergone a major transition with the introduction of data services. The ‘2020 Digital Telecom Vision’ launched by Ministry of Telecom aims to address the need to have excellent and accessible data services nationwide. With only 16% of Lebanon having 4G coverage at the end of 2015, one of the goals of this 2020 Telecom Vision is to expand 4G nationwide coverage by adding 330 new LTE sites in 2016 and another 330 in 2017.


Touch, being the leading mobile operator in Lebanon, is putting a major effort to ensure the LTE project rollout will be as smooth as possible, and not to interrupt existing 2G and 3G services. Monitoring the Quality of Service (QoS) offered to our customers is crucial to remain leader in the market; we do so through our strategic partnership with Astellia that gives us insight on the actual experience and helps us bundle new offers for our customers.

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