Bahrain-backed telco Umniah is close to completing the construction of its 3G network in Jodan, reports Zawya. Umniah has signed up Chinese vendors ZTE and Huawei for the rollout, and is on track for its scheduled H1 2012 commercial launch. As noted in TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Umniah will be the last of the kingdom’s three cellcos to launch third-generation services, behind Zain and Jordan Telecom Group (Orange Jordan). Umniah had delayed the deployment of its own 3G infrastructure, waiting for certain conditions in the market to improve, such as handset cost and availability of local content. In December last year, the cellco revealed that it believed the time was right to enter the 3G market, and paid the JOD50 million (USD70.343 million) fee for its concession, and set aside a further JOD50 for the network infrastructure. The cellco previously outlined plans to bundle data with other services to provide low cost offerings, and thereby catch up on its rivals, which combined served an estimated 1.7 million 3G subscribers at end-2011.
Umniah’s CEO, Ihab Hinnawi said: ‘We are expecting to launch our 3G services in the coming few months. The market has shown a number of indications that signify its readiness for 3G services as we have seen an increased demand for broadband internet services, an increase in smartphone penetration rates, an improvement in purchasing power as well as a rise in content and applications that are suited to our community and lifestyle. Through our 3G services we are hoping to ease access to the internet and to information, offer innovative and new content, and provide applications and services that will positively impact our subscribers’ daily lives.’