Umniah, the Kingdom’s latest mobile provider and a subsidiary of Batelco Bahrain Group, today becomes the first mobile operator to offer WiMAX services in Jordan.
The company launched the WiMAX services under its all-new trademark UMAX during a press conference on Saturday.
During the conference, Umniah announced several WiMAX offers and services which it said will “significantly improve Internet services in Jordan”.
“UMAX services very effectively replace the traditional cables or DSL to work with the wireless broadband technology. It transmits data from one computer to another using encoded radio waves and then to personal computers over long distances that could reach 15 kilometres with a speed that reaches 2 megabite/second,” Umniah Chief Executive Officer Joseph Hanania told journalists, telecom specialists and invited guests.
“UMAX also allows users to make VoIP calls while also receiving and sending large multimedia files at exponential rates,” he said, noting that Umniah made all the preparations to roll out what he described as a top-notch network that can offer the latest up-to-date services.
According to Hanania, UMAX services in the first phase cover 30 per cent of Amman (Shmeisani, Abdoun, Sweileh, Khilda, Dabouq, Jubeiha and other surrounding areas) and Aqaba, while future phases will cover Zarqa and the remaining governorates.
Umniah’s CEO highlighted UMAX services as the venue that will take Internet services in Jordan to a higher level and contribute to the efforts of transforming Jordan into a high-tech hub.
Hanania indicated that Umniah has inked several partnerships, including Intel, HP, Airspan and the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance, to augment the added value of UMAX services and help spread its unique services.
Information and Communications Technology Minister Bassem Roussan said the launch of this service reflects the level of maturity that the information technology sector has reached in Jordan especially after it has been fully opened.
“As a result, several high quality services are available to all strata of society,” the minister added, pointing out that the Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC) is considering a significant reduction in WiMAX licensing fees to encourage Jordanians to access the most advanced technological tools.
Noting that the new product falls within the government’s National Strategic Plan on the information and communications technology sectors and the postal sector, Roussan expected the WiMAX services to have a positive and noticeable impact on the management of commercial businesses and communication with the world at large.
He mentioned in this regard the pilot project to provide university students with laptops at competitive prices and the National Broadband Network programme which entails high speed fibre-optic cable for schools and can be expanded through access points.
Taha Khalifeh, telco business development director-Europe, Middle East and Africa Intel Corporation, said Intel is providing full support to spreading the WiMAX technology that has proven to provide the most cost-effective connections. He emphasised that Intel’s cooperation with Umniah will greatly contribute to raising Internet penetration in the Kingdom.
Samer Karawi, marketing director, technology solutions group for HP Middle East, said that HP aims through its partnership with Umniah to offer the best information technology solutions and services in order to spread WiMAX from Umniah with the help of wireless and multimedia solutions from HP.
During the press conference, Umniah announced an initiative and partnership with the Ministry of Education to provide several schools in the Kingdom with free UMAX services, an initiative aimed at supporting the education sector in line with Royal directives.
The press conference was also attended by Fawzan Shukri, head of strategic planning at the Housing Bank for Trade and Finance and Anders Rendahl, senior vice president and general manager EMEA Airspan Networks Inc.
11 November 2007
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