Mobile phone prices in Lebanon increasing already

mobile phones

As you all know, and in order to stop mobile phones smuggling in Lebanon, the ministry of telecommunications is now requiring all traders to register the IMEI (a unique ID assigned to each mobile device) of every legally imported mobile phone or tablet.

The collected IMEIs will then be used as of today June 1st to filter the devices that are allowed access to our mobile networks (alfa and touch). So typically speaking, a legally imported mobile phone with its due taxes paid will be allowed to connect to the mobile networks, while other smuggled ones will be denied access since their unique identifiers are not registered at the ministry.

The weakest ring in the process is of course the group of people who will be responsible of the data entry of the registered IMEIs. Since they will be easily able to register and IMEI of some untaxed mobile if there was not much control over them.

As a result, mobile phone prices ended up notably increasing over the last week. For instance, the guy who sold me my mobile was listing the iPhone 16 GB for around $650 since mid-May I guess, then he increased the price 2 days ago to $745. Logically due to the fact that the handsets he’s currently offering were legally imported and subject to some import tax.

Everybody is eventually complaining about all of this, especially that it gets a bit complicated when you buy some used handset from abroad. And I know it’s wrong to complain about a price increase when it’s a result of complying with the government taxation rules, but still, a $100 increase totally sucks!

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7 Responses to Mobile phone prices in Lebanon increasing already

  1. Pierre June 3, 2013 at 12:11 am #

    I have a question. So what happens for tourists and lebanese working abroad when they come back home then ? They cannot use their phones with any of Alpha or MTC ? That is weird.

    • Rami June 3, 2013 at 9:32 am #

      To my knowledge, people coming to Lebanon will have to register their mobile phones IMEI at the airport.

  2. Pierre June 3, 2013 at 12:34 pm #

    This is stupid … I’ve been to so many countries and never saw that … For God’s sake, why does it have to be always complicated in Lebanon. That is too much …

  3. Reem June 6, 2013 at 6:40 pm #

    I put my Lebanese sim in a phone that had previousyl been used with a different Lebanese sim in Lebanon and it didn’t work. I can’t even borrow a friend’s phone in Lebanon anymore!
    Your sim actually has to be registered to the phone!

  4. Aouni June 7, 2013 at 12:40 pm #

    This is outrageous , this is like anything else in Lebanon! This is just to make the mobile agents/ distributors make more money! No country in the world will allow this. It is just the consequence of having a sleeping community, they get robed and they just don’t react ! Already the mobiles has shown a price increase! The distributors now will monopolies the distribution. Do you really think that people coming to Lebanon will go the hassle to register their mobiles at the airport? With the prevailing situation, the few of them that really need to visit , will be obliged to buy a local phone just to use it while they are in the country.

  5. farid August 18, 2013 at 3:57 pm #

    Hala2 registration at airport bebalesh, bokra be floussss, heheheh, 7aramieh

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