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VIVA gears up for 5G roll-out

May 27, 2018 9:50 AM

MANAMA: VIVA Bahrain will be geared up for fifth generation or 5G telecom services by the year-end or early next year when the kingdom s telecom regulator makes spectrum available according to the company...

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MANAMA: VIVA Bahrain will be geared up for fifth generation or 5G telecom services by the year-end or early next year when the kingdom’s telecom regulator makes spectrum available, according to the company’s chief executive Ulaiyan Al Wetaid.

On the sidelines of VIVA Bahrain’s Ramadan media ghabga at the Ritz-Carlton, he told the GDN that 5G services are considered a significant leap forward in customer experience.

“VIVA Bahrain has started the testing process on the fifth generation technologies and the company will be proactive in providing the service.”

“The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority has a plan to offer the frequencies required to provide the fifth generation services to operators as part of the National Telecommunications Plan and that the necessary frequencies will be made available by the end of this year or early 2019 to provide the services in Bahrain,” he said.

“The provision of the fifth generation services will be in multiple stages,” he said. “Since the beginning of 2018, the company has begun to develop the appropriate technologies to provide the fifth generation services and to be pioneers in information and communication technology.”

According to a report on, while 4G tops out at a theoretical 100 megabits per second (Mbps), 5G tops out at 10 gigabits per second (Gbps). That means 5G is a hundred times faster than the current 4G technology – at its theoretical maximum speed.

The Consumer Technology Association has said that, at this speed, a two-hour movie can be downloaded in just 3.6 seconds on 5G, versus six minutes on 4G or 26 hours on 3G.

A report by Ericsson says 5G has the potential to create new opportunities worth $600 million for 5G players in Bahrain.

On the acquisition of Bahraini Internet service provider Menatelecom completed earlier this year, the chief executive said the acquisition will significantly enhance VIVA’s position in both the consumer broadband and enterprise markets.

“It will help us complement our offering by leveraging the strong capabilities of Menatelecom in the broadband segment. In addition, it will allow VIVA to enhance key technical capabilities and foster further product and service innovation,” he added.

Mr Al Wetaid said Menatelecom would continue as a separate entity for now.

“Significant investments are being made to develop its infrastructure and for network expansions to provide better services to Menatelecom customers,” he said.

“The projects are characterised by a high level of quality of services, speeds introduced and product diversification. Customers at MenaTelecom have seen a major improvement in experience.”

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