Qatar possesses a well developed telecoms market, financed in part from wealth generated by natural resources. The last country in the region to introduce competition to its telecoms market,Qataris improving market conditions, with number portability to be introduced by 2013 and a National Broadband Network (NBN) in deployment.
Broadband penetration is among the highest in the region, with services available via ADSL, Fibre-to-the-Home (FttH), wireless and mobile. Recognising the inherent opportunities in faster communications,Qatarhas embarked on developing a national fibre-based access network, known as QNBN. Services on a wholesale basis, with Vodafone already launching services. QNBN plans to extend coverage to 95% of homes by 2015, with speeds of up to 100Mb/s offered.
Qatar has taken advantage of its geographical location to improve international Internet bandwidth and redundancy, with two new international submarine cables entering service in 2012, just in time to cater to increased bandwidth demand due to QNBN and LTE.
Recognising the potential of applying ICT to improve both social and economic development, Qatar has taken steps to develop an Internet economy, with significant government funded initiatives launched in the areas of public administration (e-government), e-health and e-learning.
Mobile services are offered by a duopoly comprised of Qtel and VodafoneQatar. Since launching services VodafoneQatarhas managed to grab approximately a third of the market, with its share likely to increase once mobile number portability is introduced.
Both Qtel and VodafoneQatarhave also launched mobile broadband services underpinned by 3G or LTE networks. Adoption of such services provides a new revenue growth opportunity as the mobile voice market comes under increased competition.
Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2012
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