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Mon 1 Oct 2007 12:00 AM

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Nationwide wireless broadband rolled out in Bahrain

Operator Zain launches Wimax to give users wireless internet access anywhere.

Telecom operator Zain on Sunday launched what is being billed as the world’s first nationwide wireless broadband network in Bahrain.

The service allows customers to use the internet anywhere in the kingdom wirelessly through a technology known as Wimax.

Zain said the technology will allow customers simply to unplug the wireless unit and take it to another location, plug it in, and have access to voice and data services without having to change phone numbers.

The Kuwait-based operator, formerly known as Mobile Telecommunications Company (MTC), is bundling the wireless internet access along with fixed-line voice and mobile services in its Zain@home package.

“This package gives customers a real technological advantage as well as excellent cost benefits,” Mahmoud Abu Zannad, director of broadband services of Zain in Bahrain, said in a statement.

“Customers can choose a variety of bundled services that leverage the company's well-established mobile phone services.”

Wimax has been growing in popularity in the Middle East because it allows telecom operators to provide for voice and data servcie without having to go through the expensive and time-consuming process of laying ground cables.

The use of Wimax in the region has previously been limited to small areas such as malls and office buildings. This is the first time an operator has deployed the technology over such a large area.

Another Bahraini operator Mena Telecom said earlier this month it expects to be ready to offer Wimax services by the fourth quarter of this year.

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