LTE spectrum awarded to telecom operators [Gulf Daily News (Bahrain)]
(Gulf Daily News (Bahrain) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) MANAMA: The long-awaited rollout of long-term evolution (LTE) services will soon be a reality, with the allocation yesterday of necessary spectrum to the three main operators.
The radio frequencies (spectrum) for the provision of LTE services have been given to the current holders of individual mobile telecommunications licences (IMTL) - Batelco, Zain and VIVA.
Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA) chairman Dr Mohammed Al Amer, who handed over the new frequency licences to the chief executives of Batelco, Zain and VIVA at the regulator's headquarters, said the introduction of state-of-the-art technologies such as LTE into the market will encourage investor confidence in the country's telecommunications infrastructure.
LTE potentially allows data speeds to more than double.
The move is in line with the third National Telecommunications Policy, the TRA said.
Consumers should benefit immediately from the availability of mobile LTE services.
National fixed wireless consumers will also get benefits in terms of quality and speed in a fixed or nomadic environment providing an additional layer of competition, the telecom watchdog said.
TRA will closely monitor the roll-out and demand for LTE to determine if and when additional frequencies should be offered to operators.
The initial plan was to have an auction of LTE spectrum in the 900, 1800 and 2100 MHz bands.
An invitation to tender, restricted to the IMTL operators, was issued on January 28 this year and it was to be followed by an auction on March 31.
However, following an appeal by WiMAX operator Menatelecom against its exclusion, the process was halted by a court order.
In July, the Cabinet decided to scrap the auction and announced that spectrum will simply be granted to the three full service mobile operators.
The TRA yesterday said although LTE is predominantly a mobile technology, its use is not limited to mobile networks and it is considered the preferred evolutionary path for fixed wireless access technology.
Therefore, it was not surprising that Menatelecom announced its intention to implement LTE national fixed wireless services using its currently licensed radio frequencies.
To facilitate Menatelecom's launch of LTE, the TRA said it has provided the firm with the necessary code for network management, authentication and other personalised services. This, the TRA said, should enable Menatelecom to increase spectrum utilisation efficiency to deliver higher capacity products to its customers. The companies could not be reached for comments. email@example.com
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