Gaza to get second cellular network

October 23, 2017

GAZA CITY, Gaza Strip (AP) — A Palestinian cellular provider says it will soon expand coverage from the West Bank to the Gaza Strip.

Wataniya Mobile, a subsidiary of Qatar’s Ooredoo, says it will launch operations in Gaza on Tuesday.

Until now, Gaza has only been served by one operator, Jawwal, which was launched in the Palestinian territories in 1999. Wataniya has been operating in the West Bank since 2009. Both companies offer 3G through an agreement with Israel, which controls the frequencies.

Wataniya’s expansion was held up by the political divide between the West Bank-based Palestinian Authority and Hamas, which seized Gaza in 2007, and an Israeli-Egyptian blockade of the coastal territory.

The two rival Palestinian groups say they are close to reaching a reconciliation agreement that would return Gaza to Abbas’ control.

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