New report on Q-tel
Qatar Telecom (Qtel), Qatar’s publicly traded and monopoly telecom operator is the sole provider of fixed, mobile, Internet and Datacomm services in Qatar. Leveraging a very comfortable monopoly in its home market, Qtel is astonishingly profitable: Its net profit margin has reached the 65% mark in 2004. The operator is venturing into Oman in what could be a series of regional expansion moves.
A new report, “Qatar Communications Projections Report 2005” was released to by the Arab Advisors Group late last month.
“On August 3, 2004, a separate regulatory authority to govern the telecom sector was established by the Qatari government. The decree number 36 of 2004 was issued for establishing the Supreme Council for Communication and Information Technology, the SCCIT. This committee was envisioned in 1998 as part of the privatization decision. This followed Qatar’s joining of the WTO on January 13, 1996 but until now there is no clear-cut strategy or timeline on the full liberalization process of the telecommunication sector in Qatar. To date, Qtel remains responsible for issuing all regulations concerning Qatar’s Telecommunication markets.” Ms. Muna Sunna, Arab Advisors Research Analyst wrote in the report.
“One of Qtel’s important achievements this year was winning the second GSM license in Oman in June 2004, after signing a Memorandum of Understanding with TDC, a major telecom service provider in Europe in March 2004. Qtel and TDC plan to invest US$ 1.7 billion over the first ten years in Oman’s telecom market; however, Qtel financial commitment to this project is QR 747,200,000 (US$ 205,274,000). Cellular penetration in Oman stood at 28.9% by end of November 2004, which is the lowest in GCC countries. Commercial Launch of Nawras Telecom is expected in the first quarter of 2005.” Ms. Sunna added.