Mr. Ahmad Jaghoub, Head of the Engineering Department at Umniah, reiterated the Company’s continued progress in its engineering and technical operations, towards the full deployment and integration of its3G network. According to Mr. Jaghoub, the network will adopt the latest version and highest scope of speed of the HSPA+ technology that serves high speed downloads and uploads. Significantly advanced in comparison with earlier generations, this technology falls within the scope of what can be called the advanced third generation, or 3.75G.
During an exclusive interview with “Al Ghad” daily newspaper, Jaghoub added that the Company intends to launch its 3G network – which was integratedin collaboration with two of the largest global Telecom Manufacturersthat provide advanced communication equipment and solutions: “Huawei” and “ZTE” – with full coverage of the Kingdom’s governorates from the moment the network is deployed. The network will provide enhanced speeds, compared with those of 2Gandearlier versions of 3G technologies.He also explained that theCompany chose this timing for the launchbecause the local communications market is currently at its peak maturity, with increased demand for high speed Broadband Internet services, and an increase in computers and smart phone penetration rates in the Kingdom.
Engineer Al Jaghoub added that since acquiring the 3G license in January of this year, Umniah’s engineering team has completedover three quarters of the work required for the construction of the network, including theupgradeof base-stations and cell towers, the modernization of all switching units, and the upgrade of microwave connections with newer ones that supports higher capacities of mobile voice and datacommunication services.
Coinciding with the deploymentof the new 3G network that will double the number of cellular stations on which “Umniah” relies today, and which are in excess of 1500 stations, Al Jaghoub went on to add that the Company is also in the process of completing theEighth phaseof its 2G Network expansion work. He affirmed that there is no conflict between offering 3G services and the fixed wireless WiMAX services, as each serviceis designed and customized to serve its designated subscribers segmentand meets their specific needs. 3G technology fulfills the mobile subscribers’
Al Jaghoub added, “Umniah today owns over 1,500 2G stations that serve subscribers and avail the Company’s services throughout the Kingdom, with coverage exceeding 99% of the population, while the 3G network will be offered in most of these stations, thus doubling the number of working stations”. He also stated, “We will be providing our services through all the governorates and cities of the Kingdom, including main highways and numerous villages and communities”
The Company acquired its 3G frequency license earlier this year for JD50 million, securing the 2.1 GHz “GigaHertz”
Chief Executive Officer of Umniah, Mr. Ihab Hinnawi, had announced in earlier statements that the Company invested JD100 millionthis year, 50 million of which were paid to the government forthe license,and JD50 million to upgrade the network and build the 3G network.
On the engineering details of the construction of the 3G network, Al Jaghoub explained that “the transition of communications operators from 2G services to 3G onesrequires an upgraded infrastructure capable of providing high speed data communications, which is what Umniah has achieved. As a pioneer in the provision of advanced 2.75G services at the beginning of its operations, today, it is building a new network that will offer advanced 3.75G services. This entailsthe construction of advanced 3G stations that have been added to existing stations, along with making full modernizationto the antenna systems used to support both technologies together. The Company has also built new switchesand upgraded their infrastructure, in addition to upgrading all microwave connections to provide stations with greater connection capacities. Ultimately, this will lead to the provision of exceptionalservice with the latest technology to our subscribers wherever they are”.
On the differences between 2G and 3G in terms of services and speeds, Al Jaghoub explained that 2G was fundamentally designed to provide Voicedigital communications and short messages, following which GPRS/EDGE data technology was added, that offered speeds of up to 200 kilobits/secondat the time.
However, and according to Al Jaghoub, “3G has adopted more advanced technology, taking data speeds to greater horizons of 7, 14 and 21 megabits per second”. He went on to add, “We are now also talking about doubling these speeds in some networks particularly when referring to the advanced 3.75G, and so 3G hasenhanced speeds by 50 to 100 times, compared with 2G technologies. This will be offered to Umniah network subscribers as part of the technology we are currently adopting, in support of the Company’sstrategy to continuously offer our clients the latest services, networks and technologies, to which they are accustomed.”
Al Jaghoub further explained, “3Gbegan with high download speeds, at the time called HSDPA, and then high speed technology was added to upload files and send them through the internet, called HSUPA. Now, we are talking about the latest version and higher scopes of speed as part of the HSPA+, which includes high speed uploads and downloads that exceed what was previously offered. This is what we mean when we say we are not offering only 3.5G technology, but rather 3.75G technology, the latest in the region’s networks.”
Al Jaghoub also confirmed the Company’s accurate designs for all aspects of the required infrastructure to guarantee high speeds and capacities for data and voicecommunications, while providing the highest levels of availabilityand operation for the network’s elements. This will reflect on greater quality of voice and data communications with greater capacities for phone calls, compared with 2G.
“All this means better use and a unique subscriber experience with favorite applications,in addition to making calls on the network, whether at the level of personal calls or emails, or social network applications. It will also reflect positively on the provision of support to businesses, allowing subscribers to be online at all times. We are working diligently on addressing all of these important issues to ensure that our subscribers enjoy communicating through our network” added Al Jaghoub. Al Ghad – Ibrahim Al Mbaideen.