An agreement which paves the way for the long-awaited introduction of 3G services in the Palestinian Territory has been struck, Reuters reports. Israel and the Palestinian Authority have inked a deal to allow the operation of UMTS infrastructure in Gaza and the West Bank, with the former saying that the decision had been made following a security examination. Specifically, the agreement between the two sides ‘will enable the companies benefiting from the service to begin coordination with the Palestinian ministry of telecommunication to begin the implementation of the agreement on the ground’, said Hussein Al-Sheikh, Palestinian Minister of Civil Affairs.
Under interim peace accords, Israel is responsible for allocating radio frequencies in the West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority exercises limited self-rule. Currently the two Palestinian mobile operators – Paltel subsidiary Palcel (Jawwal) and Wataniya Mobile – are still using 2G technology, and both are keen to upgrade to 3G to meet surging demand for data bandwidth for social media applications.