Vodafone Qatar misses rollout target dates

ictQATAR amends mobile license terms as Vodafone experiences ‘unforeseen delays’

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By  Vineetha Menon Published  April 5, 2009

Vodafone Qatar has had terms of its mobile licence revised by ictQATAR after experiencing ‘unforeseen delays’.

Earlier terms stipulated that Vodafone needed to achieve 98% population coverage and launch its complete set of services by the 1st of March this year. Now, the date has been pushed back to the 1st of September, while two-way phone mobile and SMS need to be available by the 1st of July.

IctQATAR changed license terms after Vodafone experienced unexpected challenges such as acquiring sites for mobile base stations.

Presently, the company has switched on its network, achieved interconnection with Qtel and launched a trial service to test network effectiveness.

"Despite the fact that Vodafone Qatar has not met the initial target dates set out in its license, ictQATAR is satisfied with the progress that has been made on network development and interconnection with Qtel, and looks forward to the launch of competitive telecommunications service in Qatar in the near future," said Dr. Hessa Al-Jaber, ictQATAR Secretary General said

Additionally, ictQATAR has decided not to cash the performance bonds it holds against Vodafone Qatar 's coverage obligations, which amounts to 110 million Qatari riyals ($30 million).

The telecommunications regulatory authority will continue to hold those performance bonds as security to ensure revised coverage obligations are met by Vodafone.

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