Home Business Telecommunications Palestinians finally get access to 3G services

Palestinians finally get access to 3G services

While the rest of the world is speculating about the arrival of 5G, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank were able to start using 3G mobile services just last month after years of wrangling with Israeli authorities.

Two companies, Jawwal and Wataniya, started offering the services on 23 January, a report on the website Phys.org said.

Prior to that, Palestinian mobile companies had no access to the frequencies as they had been blocked by Israel.

The report pointed out that 3G services were launched in the early 2000s and 4G is common in most countries.

It quoted Ammar Aker, chief executive of the Paltel communications company which owns Jawwal, as saying it had taken a decade to get Israel to agree to allow 3G services.

"We launched 3G technically and commercially about midnight on Monday (22 January), he said.

"This is a strategic step we have been waiting for for more than 10 years. We hope it has a positive effect on the national communications (infrastructure) and economy."

The service will be only be available in the West Bank for now and not in the Gaza Strip, which has been blockaded by Israel for more than a decade.

Both companies need Israeli permits to bring in the necessary equipment. Egypt has also kept its border with Gaza largely closed in recent years.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.