Bahrain will be ready for the superfast 5G mobile network, potentially 100 times faster than 4G networks and which will enable one-second film downloads, by 2017, said the Minister of State for Communications Shaikh Fawaz bin Mohammed Al Khalifa.
Speaking on the sidelines of an event held to mark the 35th anniversary of Ericsson's first contract in the kingdom, Shaikh Fawaz said that with the final stage of the rollout of 4G/long term evolution (LTE) networks underway, the service would be available in the first quarter next year, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
According to Dubai-based telecoms expert Varun Sutholiya, 5G technology could potentially be 100 times faster than 4G networks and enable one-second film downloads.
Earlier in an address, Ericsson's GCC president Victoria Strand said the company had doubled the organisation's size in Bahrain since the establishment of its office.
"We now employ 60 people in the kingdom and have introduced a new programme to attract local talent and train new graduates on the latest technology trends," she said.
"Ericsson has actively contributed to the development of the telecommunication industry in the kingdom.
"We have accomplished, together with our partners in the industry, many milestones, starting with the deployment of a fixed network in 1978 and continuing up to supporting our customers in the installation of LTE/4G mobile networks this year," she added.
The event was held at the Ritz-Carlton Bahrain, Hotel and Spa.
It offered a platform for sharing new insights on the future of the information society and the forces shaping the telecommunication industry regionally and globally, as well as the challenges and opportunities.
Ericsson is a leading provider of telecommunications equipment and services to mobile and fixed network operators.
More than 1,000 networks in more than 180 countries use its network equipment, and more than 40 per cent of the world's mobile traffic passes through Ericsson networks.
Today, the approximately 5,000 Ericsson employees in the Middle East do business with more than 36 operators in the region. In Bahrain, Batelco and Zain use the company's technology solutions.
By Avinash Saxena
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