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Batelco boosts mobile broadband service

Bahraini incumbent launches download speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps in response to growing competition from rivals

Batelco said it has launched the fastest mobile broadband service in the country, after unveiling an HSDPA broadband service capable of download speeds of up to 14.4 Mbps.

The service will allow Batelco customers with HSDPA enabled handsets to download bigger emails and attachments, music and videos, at a faster rate than before.

Customers can also access the service on their laptop or PC by using a Batelco ‘O-net’ USB dongle.

Customers can choose between 10 post-paid and pre-paid tariffs to pay for the service using Batelco’s O-net service, with post paid deals starting at BD2 ($5.3). Monthly post paid packages include BD10 for 1GB download capacity, BD14 for 4GB capacity, and BD29 for 10GB capacity.

The company also has a special rate for students, who can pay for the BD10 package at a discounted price of BD8 per month.

Gert Rieder, Batelco’s recently appointed CEO for Bahrain, said: “Batelco’s customers now have access to the fastest mobile broadband service available in the Kingdom, giving both Batelco and its subscribers a competitive advantage when it comes to mobile communications.”

The development comes as Batelco faces increasing competition from rival mobile operator Zain and a number of WiMAX broadband providers including Mena Telecom, which launched a USB WiMAX device capable of download speeds of 8 Mbps earlier this week.

Zain also recently stepped up the pressure on Batelco after adding 3G services to its “One Network” service, allowing users to access data at local rates while roaming in other countries in the network, including Bahrain.

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