Govt approves end to PalTel telephone monopoly
Published Saturday 02/06/2012 (updated) 07/06/2012 00:11
Newly-appointed communications minister Safa Nasser el-Din said her
ministry is preparing for bidding for a new Palestine land-line telephone
provider after government approval. (MaanImages/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- The Palestinian government in the West Bank has moved to end the monopoly of the national telecommunications provider over land-line phones.
Newly-appointed communications minister Safa Nasser el-Din told Ma'an on Saturday that the ministry is preparing to move forward with a bidding process for a new telephone provider after cabinet approval.
The Palestinian Telecommunication Company, or PalTel, currently has an exclusive license from the Palestinian Authority to provide telecommunications to Palestine, since its establishment in 1997.
PalTel-owned mobile network Jawwal lost its monopoly in November 2011 when new mobile phone company Wataniya launched in the West Bank.
Wataniya faced obstacles when Israeli authorities, who control the frequencies in the occupied West Bank, refused to release the spectrum promised to the new mobile provider.
But El-Din downplayed the likelihood of similar problems affected the new land-line company, and said the Palestinian electricity company had already received approval to extend the lines.
She stressed that bidding process will be carried out transparently, and the introduction of a new land-line provider would aid consumers by improving the price and quality of services.