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Lebanon protests excessive fees

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A nationwide cellphone strike has been pronounced a success by its organizer, a consumer group in Lebanon. The third such action took place this week in protest against high mobile phone tariffs.

The president of Consumers' Lebanon Association, CLA, who organized the strike, wants users to be billed by the second rather than by the minute, enjoy lower prices and nightime fees, and have longer lasting prepay cards. His actions have been backed by public bodies including the Chamber of Trade. July's protest took place in the early hours, when most people are asleep, but Monday's boycott affected the peak time morning period. Italian mobile users went on strike in July, and a French SMS boycott the same month was also pronounced a success.

Despite comparatively expensive standing monthly charges - $37 a month compared to $12 in Jordan and Syria - Lebanon has 850,000 cellphone subscribers in a nation of four million. ®

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