Thursday, 15 February 2018 06:00

Palestinians finally get access to 3G services

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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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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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