Wataniya is first to introduce HSDPA in the region

In June last year, Wataniya announced that it had enabled EDGE across its entire network and went on to organise a programme to allow all subscribers on the network.

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By  Tawanda Chihota Published  February 8, 2006

Kuwait’s Wataniya Telecom has opened its High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA) network, making it the first operator in the Middle East and Africa region to offer mobile services beyond 3G. The solution, provided by Nokia, covers Kuwait and enables Wataniya to offer a wide range of services, among which are audio and visual services. This follows a supply agreement signed in May 2005. "Wataniya is proud to be a pioneer in introducing HSDPA in the Middle East and Africa region," says Harri Koponen, general manager and CEO of Wataniya Telecom.” We are transforming the network into one of the most sophisticated in the world. We have installed a completely new network and have utilised a completely new technique that allowed us to switch networks without any service outage, no downtime,” Koponen explained to CommsMEA last year. Wataniya has demanded – and received – meticulous service from its vendor suppliers – Nokia and Ericsson - stating that an aggressive rollout, and strong support were the requisites that made the suppliers successful bidders for the business. “The old network was not performing and there was some disagreements between ourselves and Siemens about the future roadmap,” says Niklas Sonkin, chief strategy officer and director of B2B development. In June last year, Wataniya announced that it had enabled EDGE across its entire network and went on to organise a programme to allow all subscribers on the network – postpaid and prepaid alike – to upgrade their SIM cards to EDGE-enabled ones at no additional cost.

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