ictQatar announces deregulation of telecoms sector

IctQatar views the forthcoming deregulation as beneficial, not only in terms of improved call rates and services for customers, but also in terms of the health of Qatar’s economic and social development in general.

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By  Christopher Reynolds Published  November 13, 2006

Qtel’s position as Qatar’s sole telecoms operator in the Middle East region is soon to be over given moves by Qatar’s Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQatar) to devise and publish licensing procedures that will effectively open the market up to competition early next year. Qtel, the incumbent’s monopoly licence was originally set to end in 2012. "Once we are done with the licensing procedures we will start distributing the licences," commented ictQatar secretary-general Hessa Al-Jaber. Al-Jaber did not detail whether or not licences would be issued to service providers across telecom services and dismissed rumours that a regional operator had already approached the regulator for a licence in Qatar. "We are not looking at names now. Once we issue the licensing procedures, bids will be invited and licenses distributed thereafter," she said Qatar is the last country in the Middle East to operate a monopoly telecoms market. ictQatar was established in 2005 and was set to herald the impending deregulation of country’s telecoms sector. IctQatar views the forthcoming deregulation as beneficial, not only in terms of improved call rates and services for customers, but also in terms of the health of Qatar’s economic and social development in general. "This is just the beginning. We can look forward to investment from an array of new industries, brand new jobs across our economy and innovative ways of doing business in public and private sectors," Al-Jaber said.

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