Fastlink awaits TRC's nod for 3G

Fastlink is awaiting the green light from Jordan’s telecoms watchdog to go ahead with the launch of 3G.

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By  Richard Agnew Published  September 21, 2004

Fastlink is awaiting the green light from Jordan’s telecoms watchdog to go ahead with the launch of 3G. The mobile operator intends to invite bids from UMTS equipment vendors after it secures approval to adopt the technology from the Kingdom’s Telecommunications Regulatory Commission (TRC). The move would build on the 3G plans of Fastlink’s parent company, the MTC Group, although it says that the rate at which it implements 3G in its various regional territories will factor in potential demand from subscribers. “Fastlink is technically ready to deploy 3G and has submitted a request to the TRC in Jordan, and is awaiting final approval from the TRC to commence deployment,” says Dr. Saad Al Barrak, director general, MTC. MTC has already deployed UMTS infrastructure in selected areas in Bahrain and has asked its suppliers to submit proposals to expand the network nationwide. It is also seeking access to frequency spectrum that would accommodate 3G in its home market, Kuwait. It remains to be seen when 3G will be deployed in the operator’s other territories, Lebanon and Southern Iraq, however. “3G is still in its early stages and needs to be developed more before we can make commitments to [deploy] it throughout the region,” says Dr. Al Barrak. Fastlink, meanwhile, has also set up an incubator to support technology start-ups in Jordan with investment capital. The mobile operator says that the venture, dubbed Brainbox, will also offer office space to new companies, as well as value added services such as strategic and marketing consulting, infrastructure, training and advice on public relations. The incubator will have a particular focus on the wireless and communications technology sector, Fastlink adds.

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