Qtel Allocates QR600 Million for First Phase of Fibre-to-the-Home Project
Building on its heritage as the company that brought Broadband technology to Qatar, Qtel today announced the first phase of a national programme for “Fibre to the Home” (FTTH), aiming to link homes across Qatar with fibre connections over the next three years.
The company has allocated QR600 million for the first phase of the roll-out, which will be executed in collaboration with ictQATAR.
Qatar currently has achieved Broadband penetration of around 60 percent of households, driven by high take-up of Qtel’s advanced mobile Broadband, home ADSL and Mozaic “triple-play” services. In addition, more than 2,500 companies are already deploying fibre-based solutions within their workplaces, enjoying speeds of up to 1Gbps.
The use of such advanced Internet technology was highlighted in the 2010 International Telecommunication Union (ITU) Information Society Report, which noted Qatar’s significant improvement in ICT access.
However, for Qatar to fulfil its stated ambition to be among the leading countries in the world for ICT access, ongoing adoption of the latest technologies is essential. For this reason, Qtel is making a major investment in Next Generation Broadband Fibre technology, which will be available for homes and buildings across the country.
Dr. Nasser Marafih, Chief Executive Officer, Qtel, said: “This is a major step forward for Qtel and for the people of Qatar. Our aim is to support the national strategy to make Qatar one of the best connected nations in the region, and ultimately the world, and the national roll-out of FTTH will play an essential part in that process. The national FTTH network will bring the next generation of technology services and entertainment to Qatar, and transform people’s experience of the Internet.”
Qtel’s new fibre network will fuel an important range of business benefits for companies across Qatar. Advanced bandwidth capacity will support new business applications and advanced enterprise software seamlessly, enabling companies to continue to upgrade. By helping to make companies more effective and communications faster, the initiative will have a direct economic impact for the nation.
In addition, Next Generation Access Broadband will have important implications for the healthcare and educational sectors. Schools will be able to download whole libraries of educational material quickly and effectively, and support a range of virtual learning initiatives.
Hospitals and healthcare centres in Qatar will benefit from access to a world of advanced medical applications accessible over the Internet. The FTTH plan also links with Qtel’s strategy to support the creation of original content and applications within the region, by offering sufficient bandwidth to enable the transfer of films, games and original programming.
Qtel’s implementation of FTTH Technology will offer residents a host of advanced services, including Ultra High Speed Internet, with speeds starting from 100Mbps, telephone connections, High Definition (HD) digital television and a full range of unique online experiences such as gaming and Video On Demand (VOD).
The company recently completed the first pilot project for FTTH in Qatar, through a successful partnership with developers in the Mesaieed area of Qatar. Feedback from customers benefiting from the service has been overwhelmingly positive, with people enjoying the highest quality of Internet experience ever encountered in Qatar’s history.
Qtel has developed its national roll-out plan after a thorough evaluation of similar FTTH roll-outs in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, and aims to provide one of the smoothest, most effective connection campaigns possible.
Fibre to the Home is a high-level technology that deploys optical fibres to provide Internet, phone and digital television directly to people’s homes. As part of the pilot project, Qtel has also developed a pioneering “Fibre to the Building” service, which can be offered as a central service for all residents.
With Qtel’s support, Qatar is looking to take a lead in the region in terms of the extent of FTTH penetration and availability. Qtel is working with leading telecom vendors in providing next generation telecommunications network solutions, to develop Qatar’s first FTTH network.
The project supports the wider Vision 2030 for Qatar, which aims to transform Qatar into an advanced country capable of sustaining its own development and providing a high standard of living for all its people and generations to come.