Qtel signs 20 million Euros contract with Siemens Communications
At a joint press event Tuesday, Qtel signed a contract worth 20 million Euros with Siemens Communications for the supply, installation and commissioning of a Universal Mobile Telecommunications System (UMTS) network, that will pave the way for 3G services.
UMTS represents an evolution in terms of capacity, data speeds and new service capabilities from second generation networks.
The press event was attended by Qtel Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani, Qtel CEO Dr. Nasser Marafih and Siemens Communications Vice President for Middle East, Soenke Peters and Siemens Communications Director of Sales, Qais Esrawee. Qtel Executive Director for Wireless Services, Fahad Bin Jassim Al-Thani, Qtel Executive Director for Group Communications, Waleed Al-Sayed and other senior Qtel and Siemens management were also present.
Qtel Chairman Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani said, “I am very pleased to announce our partnership with Siemens Communications, a company that already has a strong position in the GSM/GPRS segment in the Middle East. This agreement is another step towards highlighting our active preparations for the Doha Asian Games 2006, the second largest sporting event after the Olympics.”
“As Qtel is the official telecommunications partner for the games, we are serious about our commitment and support towards meeting the world-class technological requirements for the games and ensuring that Qtel too plays a big role in organizing the best Asian games ever,” continued Sheikh Abdullah.
Siemens Communications will supply, install and commission a 3G/UMTS network based on Wideband Code-Division Multiple-Access (W-CDMA) technology, including their latest generation of W-CDMA base stations (Node Bs) that can offer theoretical peak data rates of up to 14.4 Mbit/s with the support of High Speed Downlink Packet Access (HSDPA). The company holds a prime spot worldwide in commercially installed Node Bs.
(W-CDMA) is one of the main technologies for the implementation of third-generation (3G) cellular systems. It is a standard developed and supported by GSM proponents. Qtel is the third company in the region to sign up for W-CDMA network with Siemens Communications and aims to introduce HSDPA at the earliest opportunity.
HSDPA is an upgrade of WCDMA network. It significantly improves the capacity of the network and increases the download speed several folds. “The installation of the region’s 4th UMTS network is a landmark achievement for Qatar and a positive step towards enhanced features and services for both the people of Qatar and those visiting the country during the games. We have a long partnership with Qtel and commend them for their vision and foresight which has been displayed throughout the years. Today they are proving once again that Qatar is truly becoming one of the region’s most dynamic markets,” said Soenke Peters, Vice President, Siemens Communications Mobile Networks Division, Middle East Headquarters.
Qtel CEO Dr. Nasser Marafih said that Qtel subscribers and guests to the country will enjoy the many benefits and applications from 3G services in time for the Doha Asian Games in December of 2006. “With the launch of 3G, our customers will experience a whole new dimension of mobile services including applications such as videotelephony, video messaging and video mailbox including streaming live and recorded breaking news and sports events and video based alerts, said Dr. Marafih. “This will be particularly useful for sports fans as they can quickly share results. For example, when a goal is scored a video clip can be sent to the customer.”