ictQATAR announces decision to award second fixed line license
The Board of ictQATAR has decided to award the second fixed telecommunications license to the Vodafone and Qatar Foundation Consortium, permitting one of the world’s largest telecommunications companies (Vodafone) to compete against Q-tel for both mobile and fixed line customers.
Telecommunications services in Qatar are to be open to competition in another important step in the country’s liberalization process. Once fixed line services are launched under the second fixed license, customers will be able to choose what company provides fixed line services to their homes and businesses.
ictQATAR’s decision comes after a comparative evaluation based on published criteria of applications from the following consortia:
• Jordan Telecom Consortium
• PCCW-QIPCO Consortium
• Vodafone and Qatar Foundation Consortium
Earlier this year Vodafone and Qatar Foundation Consortium was granted the second Mobile Telecommunications License. Mobile service under that license is expected to be launched on or before 1March 2009, and the second Fixed Telecom License is expected to be granted before the end of 2008 with services being launched in 2009.
ictQATAR’s Secretary General Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber said, “Today’s announcement is another significant step toward liberalizing our market for communications networks and services and creating a knowledge-based information society. The result of the entrance of Vodafone into our fixed line market will bring to consumers better value and innovation in products and services.”
ictQATAR was established in 2004 to oversee liberalization of the telecommunications sector in order to spur investment in infrastructure and services. Dr. Hessa concluded, “Telecommunications companies and those in related industries will open headquarters or offices here and across all industries, better pricing and service range and quality will make Qatar an even more attractive place to do business.”