Mobily plots 3Q11 LTE launch
According to ITP.net Saudi Arabian telco Mobily plans to launch Long Term Evolution (LTE) services by the third quarter of 2011. Mobily CEO Khalid Al Kaf commented: ‘We will be building the largest LTE network in the region. We expect to launch LTE by the third quarter of this year and we expect to create a trend for the technology as we did with HSPA+’. According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Mobily reported the successful completion of LTE trials in the first trimester of 2010. Following the trials Mobily announced that it had awarded equipment manufacturers Huawei and Samsung two contracts each, for the deployment of a nationwide LTE network and also the upgrade of Bayanat Al Oula’s WiMAX sites, from Wave 1 to Wave 2 technology. The operator said that the LTE contract involved the commissioning of 2,400 towers in 33 cities across Saudi Arabia. Al Kaf indicated that Mobily’s overarching five-year strategy will see the operator ‘position itself around data’. The company reportedly doubled its ‘high volume’ mobile broadband subscriber base to 2.3 million customers in 2010, and generated some 18% of its revenues from data services.