Batelco’s Umniah and JEPCO to launch fibre-optic carrier

03 April 2019 | Jason McGee-Abe

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Batelco Group's Umniah and the Jordan Electric Power Company (JEPCO) are establishing a new company to operate an over-ground fibre-optic network.

Batelco Group’s Jordanian subsidiary and JEPCO’s partnership will see the creation of large-scale fibre-optic network infrastructure servicing the areas operated by JEPCO. This will deliver wholesale high-bandwidth internet services to telecom companies and service providers, eventually reaching more than 1.4 million homes and businesses.

The partnership is considered one of the most significant between two private sector companies operating in critical sectors in the Kingdom, and which both offer services that are essential to furthering economic growth, and impact the daily lives of Jordanians nationwide.

Ihab Hinnawi, CEO of Batelco Group, commended the efforts of Umniah to revolutionise the Jordanian telecommunications landscape, and to support the efforts of the government to create a digital economy. He further underscored Batelco Group’s confidence in Jordan’s economic and investment potential, noting that this agreement will help broaden the scope of investments made by Batelco in the Kingdom.

Hinnawi added: “This strategic partnership demonstrates the effect of Batelco’s innovation, efforts, unique offerings as well as its highly effective organisational culture, which are all inspired by a firm conviction that our commitment to the communities in which we operate makes our strategy more sustainable while entrenching our uniqueness and decreasing the cost on our clients.”

Under this partnership, a new company co-owned by JEPCO and Umniah will be established and — once all necessary permits and certifications are acquired — will roll out a new fibre-optic network covering all areas in which JEPCO operates. This in turn will serve subscribers of both companies in addition to offering wholesale services to other service providers.

Isam Bdeir, chairman of JEPCO, highlighted the importance of the Umniah partnership, which he noted will yield considerable returns to its investors, partners and the overall economy by implementing a forward-thinking business model that integrates the energy and telecommunications sectors. He added that the new company and the planned fibre-optic network will revolutionise the delivery, billing and communications operations for JEPCO, thus helping to bring Jordan’s electrical grid into the 21st century.

Umniah CEO Ziad Shatara, said: “This partnership is yet another milestone in Umniah’s ever-growing legacy, one of which we are all proud. Our primary objective is to accelerate internet and digital penetration nationwide and to redefine the way Jordanians perceive and interact with technology.

“More importantly, this partnership will help propel the local economy by creating an environment that is conducive to business development and growth. This will help create additional job opportunities, all the while providing existing businesses with the tools and infrastructure needed to expand their operations.”

In 2018, Umniah and JEPCO had completed one of the largest infrastructural projects in the Kingdom by establishing an over-ground fibre-optic network running in parallel to the electrical grids operated by JEPCO. This network aided in connecting and automating a number of power substations and in the installation of smart counters throughout various areas in Amman. Moreover, the network has also allowed JEPCO to remotely manage electrical grids in various areas. The partnership is also facilitating the delivery of cutting-edge internet services to various areas, with more areas set to receive coverage in 2019.