Three more to join Mideast telecom alliance

DUBAI - Recently formed telecom alliance in Dubai is soon planning to welcome three more members under its umbrella.

By Sandhya D'mello

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Published: Mon 23 Aug 2004, 10:27 AM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:46 AM

The three players are Wataniya Telecom-Iraq, Wataniya Telecom-Algeria and Qatar Telecommunications (QTEL)'s participation through Nawras Telecom from Oman. The three players will join the alliance, which was formed on lines with Jordan's MobileCom, Bahrain's Batelco, Qatar's Qtel and Kuwait's Wataniya. Together, the four companies today serve over 3 million mobile customers in the Middle East region, with networks deployed in Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria and Tunisia.

Andrei Torriani, Chief Product Development & Technology Officer, Wataniya Telecom (NMTC), said: "The alliance is built on the premise of benefits for each of the members and its customers. As such , Wataniya Telecom group operators will be provided and are expected to pursue the opportunity to participate in , contribute and gain from the alliance but based on their development and ability to do so. Regarding the other members joining our alliance, we will communicate this as new members are confirmed, several additional operators have communicated their interest in joining or collaboration."

Earlier the alliance had been formed by four of the Middle East's most technically advanced mobile GSM network operators. The alliance is expected to define new categories of advanced services for regional subscribers, supporting new innovations and developments in multimedia services, Internet access, content services and seamless roaming between key regional national markets. The first of its kind in the Middle East, the alliance, with its initial operating groups, will potentially serve markets covering over 70 million people in the region and markets in which they have operations.

The alliance brings the market strength of its members to bear in supporting the rollout of unified content and access services, including Multimedia Messaging Services (MMS) and General Packet Radio Services (GPRS) roaming, as well as unified support for Enhanced Data for GSM Evolution (EDGE) class high speed mobile Internet access across national boundaries. The alliance will include the establishment of advanced roaming agreements, common content and application development resources and will support the availability of a common platform and portal offering. The four founder members have made it clear that the alliance is open to bringing new members from the region and beyond on board.

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