Syrian Jamming of Lebanese Phone Networks?

This is not the first time this happens with me. I called Alfa about it before and they blamed my phone. So now it happened with my iPhone 4S (it previously happened with my iPhone 4) the moment I reached home in the North. A telecom engineer told me it couldn’t be my phone and this is illegal.

I have no idea how something like this is possible. I’m well off the Syrian-Lebanese border so how can I get Syriatel reception all the way on the coast?

It also sticks around for a good 30 minutes unless you force your phone to switch carriers. That also doesn’t always work.

The interesting thing is that if I switch simcards to the Syrian MTN one I got when I visited, it doesn’t work. It’s only with Alfa. Anyone with MTC having this as well? And can anyone explain how such a thing is possible?

14 thoughts on “Syrian Jamming of Lebanese Phone Networks?

  1. Hey Elie, my parents’ home is about 15 to 20 kilometers from the German border. In the past my phone would sometimes switch to a German provider when I was close to my sound boxes or when I walked underneath transmission towers (which don’t even come from Germany…).

    Years before that my mobile radio receiver would also switch to a German radio broadcast from time to time.


    • But your phones are roaming-equipped, no? Mine is nowhere near that. And I’m further off the Syrian border than 15 or 20 km. When I went to Syria, my reception died down the moment I crossed the border.


      • Yeah, that’s true. I would have paid lots. This problem no longer exists though. Decades ago some areas would only get German television as well. Perhaps Syria is messing with Lebanese telecommunications.


        • Yeah some border areas will get that. It’s not unheard of. But when you’re extremely far from the border (think the total opposite side of the country), I don’t know what could cause this.

          I would assume Syria pumping up signals to interfere somehow.


  2. Hi Elie,

    Sadly this is not the 1st time that such thing happens. yes, don’t blame your phone; instead blame our Gov(s) (I’m being objective here) w sallemleh 3al Alfa . Such things are totally illegal unless there’s contract between the Lebanese and Syrian operators and both Governments. I don’t think that’s the case. No such active service contracts btw these parties (other than roaming- as far as I know). Regarding the above German border case, it happens that most European operators have active contract btw them and this is to help the ppl living on borders to always have connection in case home coverage is not well covering and in case of security issues they easily exchange call data between them. Well, it’s not the case with SYRIATEL and Batroun!

    Also- I live in the North area and in my last visit to Lebanon (1 month ago) it happened with my mtc SIM where I got MTN connection (with Nokia E71 *Yes Nokia* and I have pics). Yes the signal was strong enough to provide connection and technically speaking it is feasible. Batroun is not ‘that’ far from Syria.

    We can also connect what’s happening now in Tripoli with this strong coverage from the Syrian operators. I bet ppl with SYRIATEL active SIM cards, in North area, can use them as if they were inside Syria. So All the call information (and data) will NOT pass through the Lebanese operators and no data will be stored from the Lebanese side (only handover information for Syrian nbs – in case happened w/ mtc or alfa). w fehmak kfeyeh when it comes to the security issues in Lebanon.

    This is very shameful for us.


    • That’s what I thought. I was told to get a new Sim but I’m guessing that would be futile. It’s weird that it happens more frequently whenever there’s something going on in the country. And it mostly happens in the North. It never happened while in Beirut.
      Yeah I know technically Batroun isn’t that far from Syria but you wouldn’t expect Syriatel and MTN to invest in strong enough signal transmitters to reach Batroun, no?
      Either way, thanks for your comment. It seems this is something fishy and I’m not being paranoid out of nowhere.



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