What's Going on in the Gulf?

Free Internet Service for Pilgrims


Mobily, Bayanat Set Up 70 Net Access Points for Pilgrims
Arab News
RIYADH, 16 December 2007 — Etihad Etisalat (Mobily) and Bayanat Al-Oula announced that they had setup 70 Wi-Fi access points in the holy sites for use by journalists and the general public.

Wi-Fi, which stands for wireless fidelity, allows anyone with a laptop, PC with a Wi-Fi card or even Wi-Fi-enabled mobile phone or PDA to connect wirelessly to the Internet.

In the case of the 70 Wi-Fi access points setup by Mobily and Bayanat, connectivity to the Internet is free of charge.

All that users need to do is set the Wi-Fi card on their device to search for “Bayanat.” No extra settings, like an encryption key or an IP address. The connection sets itself up automatically, bringing mobile Internet connectivity into the hands of pilgrims, officials, journalists or any member of the public in the holy sites, who needs access to the Internet.

The access points have been setup across strategic locations at the holy sites using power from Mobily’s towers.

“These are the first fruits of our cooperation with Bayanat,” said Abdul Aziz Al-Tamami, chief operations office of Mobily.

“We gave them access to our towers and have supplied them with power for the Wi-Fi access points at all 70 locations,” he added. Bayanat is one of two licensed data communication operators. Mobily and Bayanat are rolling out a 12,000 km nationwide fiberoptic backbone. The backbone has seven rings.

In September, Mobily signed a memorandum of understanding worth SR1.5 billion to acquire 99.9 percent of Bayanat’s shares.

Mobily has consistently provided the best network coverage in the holy sites since its launch in May of 2005. This year round, Mobily added 82 new sites, increasing its coverage by 58 percent.

Each year, millions of Muslims throng the holy sites to perform Haj.

FYI – Some of the locals agree that Mobily is the best service to have whether you’re making Hajj or not…their batteries are known to last longer. Other brands begin to die within about 24 hours, Allaahu Aa’lam.


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