Batelco earmarks $38.5m for LTE readiness

Operator signs deal with Ericsson for network upgrade

Tags: BahrainBatelco Middle East CompanyEricssonLTE
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Batelco earmarks $38.5m for LTE readiness Gert Rieder, CEO of Batelco Bahrain, said the investment would increase the speed and capacity of the operator's wireless network.
By  Roger Field Published  June 15, 2010

Bahrain's incumbent telecom operator Batelco plans to invest more than $38 million in upgrading its wireless network to ensure it is ready for the transition to LTE (Long Term Evolution).

The operator signed a deal with Swedish vendor Ericsson to work on the project, which it has branded MNE (mobile network expansion) 2010. Batelco said it planned to invest BD14.5 million ($38.5 million) in the project.

 "Demand for mobile broadband services continues to grow exponentially as it is driven by the increasing use of mobile data cards, smart phones and Blackberries to access the internet, email and download data whilst on the move," said Gert Rieder, CEO of Batelco in Bahrain.

"Our major objective is to enhance, upgrade and expand our mobile voice and internet network to tackle a number of needs such as providing or enhancing coverage and quality of service in newly developed or remote areas."

He added that the MNE 2010 project would improve Batelco's network performance and also ensure its readiness for LTE.

The project would also allow the network to handle a greater volume of data required to support services such as mobile video streaming, Rieder said.

Zain Bahrain, one of Batelco's two mobile rivals in Bahrain, became the first operator in the Middle East to commit to LTE, when it announced plans to upgrade its network back in August 2009. 

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