Israel 2.0?

Here’s Interesting article on GigaOm about the how broadband is reinvigorating the Israeli tech industry. The article is written by an Israel-based venture capitalist, so a certain degree of hyping the Israeli tech sector can be expected. Still, it’s an informative read. A number of Israeli companies where prominent during the early days of the commercial internet. Who can forget the ICQ story (is anyone still using that?). Now, a new breed of companies is active in broadband, telecom and web 2.0 ventures.

GigaOM : » Israel 2.0 :
..The growth of telecom and broadband networks worldwide has created big opportunities for Israel.

Israel 2.0 is all about broadband, and broadband driven innovation.

Despite being a tiny country, Israel ranks ninth in terms of broadband penetration. Although speeds are limited to 2 Mbps, Israel is obsessed with news and connectivity to the outside world, Israelis spend more time online than any other country on a per capita basis..

When I think that all this stuff is happening just 70-100 Km away from Amman it makes feel a bit weird.

Where are the Jordanian startups with global potential?, which has regional, not global success is already 5 years old.

Do you know of any other interesting Jordanian tech startups? Share the info here if you do.

Finally a note to our ISPs. When the heck will we get 2 Mbps? And when will customers be freed from the mind numbing bandwidth restrictions? We though that telecom liberlization will do the trick, but here we are 18 months into the liberalized telecom market with substandard 512 Kbps and 1 Mbps connections.

Bring on Jordan 2.0!

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8 Responses to “Israel 2.0?”

  1. All In Good Time Says:

    Bring on Jordan 2.0?

    Before that can happen we need:

    Democracy 1.0 (beta)
    No Corruption 1.0 (rought cut)
    Fairness 1.0 (brainstorm)

  2. Humeid Says:

    Nice comment 1.0 ;)

    I kind of agree with your three points. But remember that Israel’s ‘Democracy, Corruption and Fairness’ situation are not ‘perfect’.

    Another example would be Dubai. And what about China (Democracy?)

    It’s an endles argument. Should every aspect of development in a society move ahead in tandem with all the other aspects. That would be ideal of course, but often not the reality.

    I will still ‘fight for the right’ of companies to have 2 Mbps despite our democratic deficiencies..

  3. Blue Says:

    first of all, thank you for the interesting post…However, I beleive that Jordan is on the right track. The telecommunication industry in Jordan is going crazy. We have more than 20 ISP’s and 24 ITSP licensed from the TRC.

    As for the 2 Mbps I know that u can request for an E1 line (or leased line) which is 2.048 Mbps. I know that licensees in Jordan are allowed to have such a connection, and even corporates. The issue is that asking for an E1 line is too costly at the moment.

    To allow end users to have a 2M internet access is doable as far as i know. we are technically supported in Jordan to offer this service, yet i do not know why they are not offering it or why the bandwidth is restricted.

    The main drawback in the telecommunication (specially internet) industry in Jordan is that it all has to go through JTC (Jordan Telecom). JTC is the only company that is directly connected to the international flag in Aqaba through Hashem station in the medical city.

    Fastlink is now working on connecting with the international flag in aqaba, and should be connected within a year from now. This would definately introduce a strong competition in the market and the trend in those big companies to increase their capacity and offer wider bandwidth.

    Patience people patience :) Jordan is on the right track, and with alot of hard work we can compete with Israel.

  4. ck Says:

    Hey Chabibi!
    I’m writing you from sunny downtown Jerusalem to correct some factual errors. Our speed is not limited to 2mbps. Right now I am on a 5mbps ADSL connection which I enjoy from the comfort of my home. If I am outside and need Internet access, much of downtown Jerusalem is a free Wifi zone where those willing to slum it can benefit from a 1.5mbps connection provided by the city.

    But hey – y’all can still get Starbucks Coffee in Amman. There is no Starbucks anywhere in Israel.

  5. Jonathan Says:

    Just a few comments regarding broadband in israel:
    1. we still have a very narrow upstream and cannot communicate and add content quickly.
    2. Though broadband in inexpensive, most people do not use the ultra high end packages since they require to commit to one ISP for a year or two.
    3. The competition is really nonexistant and we do not really have good connection outside israel, so sites stored outside israel are not accessed quickly.
    4. We are always willing to cooperate with Jordan and Egypt in projects. I’m currently establishing a server farm, for example, and i would love it if people host there, even from Jordan, and i’d love to have a leased line to jordan. the last time i was in Amman i had the pleasure of seeing how packets are routed from amman to tel aviv: amman, aquaba, new-york, london, tel-aviv (and i drove by car only 1 hour from tel aviv to amman).


  6. Hindi Says:

    “But hey – y’all can still get Starbucks Coffee in Amman. There is no Starbucks anywhere in Israel.”

    Is this something you are proud of?

  7. Hindi Says:

    Jonathan the Israeli “(and i drove by car only 1 hour from tel aviv to amman).”

    That’s because you are Jewish. It would take a non-jew much longer. And it would take a Palestinian refugee possibly 100 or 200 hundred years. But he or she will make it to Tel Aviv eventaully, you can count on that, if that’s their home.

  8. Dotan Mazor Says:

    To Jonathan: Looking forward to the server farm.

    To Hindi: Too bad for the “Falestinian Refugee”. Welcome to Israel.


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