? ? Long Term Evolution (LTE) promis es to breathe new life into telecommunications sector as
citizens and consumers. TRA has al located the necessary spectrum to the current holders of IMTL licences in order to enable them to provide LTE services in line with the 3rd NTP. Recently a revitalised frequency award process was launched to offer radio frequencies to Batelco, Zain and Viva in order to provide mobile services, including LTE, as a matter of national priority. The eligible licensees were invited to respond to a consultation document, which set out TRA's proposals for the award of rights to any or all of the existing IMTL holders, to use frequencies available in the 900MHz, 1800MHz and 2100MHz bands to promote current technologies and the provision of LTE services in the Kingdom. Although LTE is predominantly a mobile technology, its use is not limited to mobile networks; indeed LTE has emerged as the preferred evolutionary path for fixed wireless access technology requirements. Menatelecom has even announced its intention to implement LTE national fixed wireless services using its currently licensed radio frequencies. To facilitate Menatelecom's launch of LTE, TRA has provided Menatelecom with the necessary code for network management, authentication and other personalised services. This should enable Menatelecom to increase its spectrum utilization efficiency to deliver higher capacity products to its customers. Consumers and citizens should benefit immediately from the additional release of prime spectrum used by handset providers for the provision of mobile LTE ser vices, whilst national fixed wireless consumers will also be able to experience the benefits of LTE technology in terms of quality and speed in a fixed or nomadic environment providing an additional layer of competition.
TRA will closely monitor the roll-out and demand for LTE in the Kingdom to determine if and when additional frequencies should be offered to the sector. TRA believes that LTE will encourage investor confidence in telecommunications infrastructure for the benefit of everybody. ? ?
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