Wataniya Palestine sets deadline for spectrum allocation resolution

24 Aug 2009

Wataniya Palestine, the mobile operator that won 2G and 3G licences for the Palestinian Territories in September 2006, has issued a deadline for the release of the frequencies it needs to launch commercial services, ITP.net reports. It is understood that, following significant delays in obtaining its spectrum, Wataniya has issued a deadline of 15 September 2009, just one month before the network is due to launch. The operator claims that the frequencies it has been issued are not enough to launch services, and in a statement it said: ‘In the event that minimum radio spectrum is not allocated to meet the launch schedule, Wataniya Mobile must pursue remedies which may include demands for refund of its licence fee payment and other damages.’ The threat to call for reimbursement of its licence fee is consistent with Wataniya’s standpoint on the matter in June 2009, when it said it would seek to recover any investment made in the region, including the costs of all installed equipment, which it estimated at USD200. The Palestinian minster of communications, Mashour Abu Daqqa, has indicated that if Wataniya does pursue financial compensation the Palestinian authority will ask international powers to call on Israel to cover the costs; the delay in allocating spectrum allegedly stems from the refusal by the Israeli Ministry of Communication to release the needed frequencies.