Palestine 3G tech blocked by Israel, causing substantial loss

RAMALLAH : Palestinian officials complained Sunday that Israel is depriving them of using 3rd generation mobile telecommunications technology, causing substantial losses for local cellular phone companies and customers, reports BSS/Xinhua.
Ammar al-Ikker, executive director of the Palestinian telecommunication group, told Xinhua that Israel is about to start implementing 4th generation technology, complaining that his fellow people are still using 2nd generation technology. “Because we are not using developed frequencies in telecommunications, our losses rose to 100 million U.S. dollars every year and they could increase in the future,” he said as Palestinians Sunday marked the World Telecommunication and Information Society Day (WTISD). The WTISD is designed by the United Nations specialized agency of International Telecommunication Union (ITU), aiming to help raise awareness of the possibilities that Internet use and other information and communication technologies (ICT) can deliver to societies and economies, in addition to bridging the digital divide. Allam Musa, Palestinian minister of telecommunications, told Xinhua that Israeli telecommunication and mobile companies are profiting from Palestinian markets by taking advantage of advanced technology without paying taxes to the Palestinian National Authority (PNA).
According to the Palestinian Central Statistic Bureau, the number of mobile phone users in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip reached 3.1 million. Using outmoded communication technology imposes high costs on local consumers, mainly as they surf and browse the Internet and use social media websites on their mobiles.
Sabri Seidam, technology adviser to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said, “Politically, Israel deals with the issue of Palestinian telecommunications in the same manner it deals with issues of expanding settlements and obstructing possibilities of establishing an independent Palestinian state.”


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