News Column

New technology set to triple Net speed

July 2, 2014

AHMED AL OMARI



INTERNET in Bahrain is expected to triple in speed in the next four years with the introduction of a nationwide fibre optic network.

A three-year plan that will connect 80 per cent of the country with fibre optic cables has been drawn up by the Telecommunications Regulatory Authority (TRA), which will launch the scheme next year.

The lines will be able to deliver up to 300 megabytes a second which is three times faster than the 4G LTE mobile broadband.

"There are certain targets that we need to establish - one of them is the national broadband," said TRA chairman Dr Mohammed Ahmed Alamer.

"It's a big project, it's a major project, in fact actually it will of one of the biggest projects in Bahrain.

"We are trying to connect the country with fibre optics providing the connectivity as well as the speed - the desirable speeds that will also take technology even further and propel all other services."

Dr Alamer explained that the process of connecting areas to the network will be carried out gradually until 2018.

He said some of the country's existing operators have already connected some areas with fibre optic lines which will be linked with the new network.

"We should achieve at least 75pc to 80pc of households in Bahrain to be connected with the fibre optic lines," he said.

"There is a measure; we are talking about until 2018, so by 2018 about 80pc of the country should be connected.

"It won't be 100pc at that point and it won't happen all at once. It is a gradual growth and connectivity until we reach that year.

"We still don't know how much of the country has already been connected with fibre optics.

"We still have to establish dialogue between us (TRA) and the other operators so we can know what can be used from the lines that are already underground and to determine how those lines are usable for the full nationwide network.

A budget for the broadband grid has not been finalised yet, but Dr Alamer said investments pumped into the project will increase the national Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

"We also need to open lines of communication with the existing operators because some of the current operators have got fibre optic lines in the ground right now. We don't want to create a whole other network," he explained.

"We want to utilise what is already in the ground, preserve the investment and also make sure that we can build on them.

"Whatever we spend on this project will raise our national GDP. There is a direct relation between the economic growth and networking and bandwidth.

"So every dinar you spend on your network is a dinar spent on the country's infrastructure that will by itself be utilised for other services and other sectors, for instance the banking sector or entertainment industry". ahmed@gdn.com.bh


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Source: Gulf Daily News (Bahrain)


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