Kuwaiti telco Wataniya Telecom has announced the commercial launch of its 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) network in the 1800MHz spectrum band, initially for customers using routers, Alrai Media reports. According to the article, the 4G service will be available to smartphone users in selected areas in Kuwait by end-September 2013, with nationwide coverage targeted by the end of 2013. The company has spent over USD350 million to upgrade its network and deploy the LTE technology.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Wataniya Telecom is the third cellco to launch LTE services in Kuwait. Kuwait Telecom Company (Viva) drew first blood when it launched its LTE network in December 2011; the coverage of Viva’s network was initially restricted to central areas, although in March 2013 the Saudi-backed operator claimed that it had achieved nationwide coverage. Meanwhile, Zain Kuwait launched its own 4G service under the brand name Wiyana Connect 4G LTE in November 2012, offering nationwide coverage for users with compatible mobile phones, tablets, routers, hotspots and dongles.