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Vodafone gets fixed-line licence for Qatar

Vodafone Qatar has been issued a licence by the Supreme Council of Information and Technology (ictQatar) to operate the country’s second fixed line telephone service. Initially, Vodafone Qatar will start operating at The Pearl-Qatar, after complying with ictQatar’s requirements, including changing its articles of association in the next three months and paying the licence fee of US$27,000.

The fixed line licence for Vodafone, which includes services for broadband Internet and landline phones, contains a further obligation to provide 100% coverage to the rest of Qatar. Vodafone Qatar is working closely with ictQatar and Qtel to use the proposed National Broadband Network to provide these services.

The CEO of Vodafone Qatar, Grahame Maher, said the broadband and fixed line voice services at The Pearl-Qatar will be shared with the coverage of Qtel. He added, however, that residents can have the option to choose their service provider or even shift subscription from Qtel to Vodafone to avail themselves of fixed line services.

Asked about Lusail City as its next target for expansion, Grahame Maher said Vodafone still had to get approval from ictQatar: “The project plan will be completed in a month or two.”

Vodafone will launch its fixed line services at The Pearl-Qatar with high-speed broadband Internet services in the next three months and fixed line voice services within 12 months. Grahame Maher said the company was looking forward to providing the fixed-line services to some parts of Qatar by early next year.

Services in the rest of the country will depend on the implementation of the National Broadband Network by ictQatar. In Maher’s words, “We are delighted to have been granted the fixed line licence...We look forward to providing residents and businesses in Qatar with the full range of Vodafone Qatar’s products and services.”

Vodafone Qatar had earlier reached a partnership with United Development Company (UDC) to provide total communication solutions to the man-made island. This partnership utilises UDC’s already deployed state-of-the-art infrastructure as well as Vodafone’s network at The Pearl-Qatar.

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