Bahrain leads the way in wireless

HP and Batelco combine to boost wireless network coverage in Bahrain.

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By  Simon Duddy Published  April 20, 2004

Batelco, Bahrain’s leading telecommunications provider, has launched a series of Hotspots and WiFi services for the Bahraini general public. The first phase of the project was deployed to coincide with Bahrain’s Grand Prix and will ultimately include wireless networks in 16 venues around Bahrain, including Bahrain International Airport, principal coffee shops and leading 5 star hotels. Batelco is deploying a HP solution, which allows customers to gain access to internet services through hotspots and Wifi services using wireless enabled notebooks, PDAs and Tablet PCs and is integrated with prepaid cards, vouchers, credit cards, Short Message Service (SMS) and a one time password (OTP) provided by Batelco. Also, existing Batelco account holders will be able to use these networks and bill directly to their existing phone bills. The HP Services division designed and will deploy and project manage the solution, giving advice on each phase’s technology requirements. The solution included a thorough examination and analysis of the services that Batelco wished to offer the public and offered advice garnered from similar projects HP has implemented world-wide. “HP gained the competitive edge in this project by being ahead of the competition in our ability to take technology to the customer, be they business professionals or consumers with the essential facility to keep them mobile and in contact with their clients, friends and family anytime and anywhere,” said Mike Smith, General Manger for HP Services, Middle East. “We have vast experience and the proven track record in design, implementation, project management and support of technology requirements, which is hard for anyone to beat. Our clear advantage to deliver quickly is unmatched by any of our competitors, and proved attractive to Batelco.” The project will be rolled out over two phases with the initial stage implementing public wireless local area network (WLAN) hotspots through HP Services. The technology provided by HP includes Proliant blade servers and HP thin client desktops, Procurve switches and access points. The second phase will provide a further ten hotspots making Bahrain one of the hottest wireless networks. Organisations and businesses with public-facing facilities will be able to approach Batelco to add their own premises to the network therefore offering the public and their own customers additional services.

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