Qatar, Lebanon to Activate Maritime Fiber Optic Link
Qatar and Lebanon will activate a maritime fiber optic link in August to "ensure faster communication at reasonable rates," reported the Gulf Times newspaper on Monday.
A memorandum of understanding (MoU) for activating the link was signed by Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud Al Thani, chairman of Qatar’s telecom company, Q-Tel, and Lebanese Minister for Communications Jean-Louis Qradahi, who arrived in Doha on Saturday.
In a joint press conference, the two officials said the maritime link would help increase the bandwidth for faster communication.
Currently, Lebanon and Qatar have only a satellite link. But it is expensive and does not match the quality of communication through a maritime link, said the paper.
They said data and voice transmission between the two countries would become hassle-free when the link was activated in August. Prior to that, the tariff would be worked out.
The Fiber Optic Gulf (FOG) network already links Gulf countries. Countries around the world form part of the Fiber Link Around Globe (FLAG).
“What we are trying to do is activate the link already in place,” Sheikh Abdullah said.
He said the Lebanese minister had agreed in principle to do away with the surcharge imposed on GSM roaming facility in the country. A 35 percent surcharge is levied on calls received in Lebanon under the roaming facility.
Normally, every country charges an additional 15 percent on the standard GSM rates under the roaming arrangement. Lebanon levies the 35 percent surcharge over and above the normal tariff and the additional 15 percent roaming charge.
“This has been a disincentive to Qatarnet GSM users who use the roaming facility in Lebanon. At the same time, GSM users in the Lebanese telecom network do not have to pay the surcharge for the roaming facility in Qatar because Q-Tel doesn’t impose it,” Sheikh Abdullah said.
Asked when the surcharge would be scrapped, the Lebanese minister said that although no timeframe had been set, it must happen before the year-end – Albawaba.com