Monday, November 2, 2009

Wataniya finally launches its network, but with limited spectrum

Yesterday, Nov. 1, Wataniya launched its network with 3.8 MHz of spectrum. This is 1 MHz less than the 4.8 MHz the company was promised. The network is currently serving about 40,000 subscribers who had prebooked their numbers. I spoke with Allan Richardson, CEO of Wataniya, today and he said the following:

“The network’s been very robust. We’re very pleased with the operation and it’s a good start. I’d say we’re moving in the right direction….Obviously there’s an awful lot of things going on in the background and I can’t complain. Everybody’s worked very hard and the network is behaving itself.”
According to a Nov. 2 Reuters article, Mashoor Abu Dakka, Palestinian telecommunications minister, said there would be a "long-term battle" for the release of the remaining frequency. "The Israeli side didn't commit to what it had promised. But we wanted the company to become a reality," he said. A statement from Tony Blair's office said, "Mr. Blair urged the Government of Israel to release the remaining 1MHz of frequency as soon as possible."

More to follow. Stay tuned...