Fueling development of Palestinian economy: Wataniya Mobile launches commercial operations in West Bank
At a press conference today, the Management and Board of Wataniya Mobile (WM), represented by Qatar Telecom Q.S.C. (The Qtel Group), Wataniya Group, and the Palestine Investment Fund (PIF), proudly announced the launch of the commercial service of Wataniya Mobile across the West Bank. The launch of Wataniya Mobile's network is a significant achievement for the people of Palestine, the Palestinian Authority, The Qtel Group and PIF.
The Qtel Group delegation was represented by Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman of The Qtel Group and Wataniya Group, Sheikh Mohammed Bin Suhaim Al Thani, Deputy Chairman, and Dr. Nasser Marafih, Chief Executive Officer of The Qtel Group. The PIF was represented by Dr. Mohammed Mustafa, Chairman of the Board of Wataniya Mobile and PIF President. Also attending the announcement was Tony Blair, Representative of the Middle East Diplomatic Quartet and Dr. Mashour Abu Daqqa, Palestinian Minister of Telecommunications and Information Technology (MTiT).
"On behalf of The Qtel Group and Wataniya, we are delighted to be here today to commemorate this very special occasion and moment for us all," said Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani. "The Qtel Group is committed to the Palestinian people and to playing a key role in the economic development of the country. The Palestinian telecommunications market has strong prospects for growth and will contribute to the wider growth of the economy. With the launch of Wataniya Mobile, we are delighted to be able to provide the Palestinian people with a long-awaited choice of a new telecommunications provider."
On his part, Dr. Mohammad Moustafa, Chairman of the Board of Wataniya Mobile and President of the Palestinian Investment Fund, said: "First and foremost, we would like to thank President Mahmoud Abbas for his continuous
efforts in bringing this project to life and making it a reality. I would also like to thank the Minister of Telecommunications Dr. Mashour Abu Daqqa and the head of the Quartet Mr. Tony Blair for their great efforts and support, and the people of Palestine for their patience, while we were working on the launch of our network. This is a proud moment for the Palestinian Investment Fund in its role as a co-founder of Wataniya Mobile in Palestine, and we are equally proud of our partnership with The Qtel and Wataniya Groups. Wataniya Mobile represents our country's largest economic project since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. Both shareholders have invested already $140 million in license fees and over $100 million in the build-out of the network, with further investments planned over a 10-year period. The impact of this investment on the overall economy cannot be understated, as it will fuel economic development and create more jobs. The launch of Wataniya Mobile not only liberalizes the telecommunications sector in Palestine, but it also represents a major national economic achievement, that we should all be proud of," continued Dr. Mohammad.
Quartet Representative Tony Blair said: "Wataniya Mobile's launch of commercial operations in the West Bank is an important milestone in the building of a prosperous and competitive Palestinian economy". He added "the
launch of Wataniya today shows the results of determination. It shows that Palestine is open for business and real investments can deliver results". Mr. Blair reaffirmed the commitment of the Quartet and the international community to establishing an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian State.
Allan Richardson, Chief Executive Officer of Wataniya Mobile, commented: "'Now You're Talking" is our launch campaign. . The launch of the network will contribute to the growth of the Palestinian economy and is necessary to stimulate completion and provide the infrastructure and services that are key for the development of the local economy. The company currently employs over
250 talented professionals and eventually will provide more than 2,000 direct
and indirect job opportunities for the Palestinians. Our distribution network spans across six company-owned service centers in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenin, Tulkarem, Nablus and Hebron where customers can select from a variety of prepaid, Kalimate, postpaid, Dahab plans. In addition to the Wataniya Mobile service centers, a well-trained West Bank dealer network has been established to provide availability and accessibility to the company's products and services, including excellent and highly competitive roaming offerings. And,
most importantly, we launched a fresh message in the market, Anta Alrawi, which builds upon the rich heritage of the Palestinian people. Share Your Experience ... Share Your Story ... Start Communicating ... Anta Alrawi, in your own voice with products that are tailored to the individual needs of the marketplace," concluded Richardson.