Half of Qatari homes have broadband internet

Survey shows more than 135,000 homes, with 7 occupants each, have broadband. 

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By  Tom Arnold Published  April 5, 2009

Broadband internet penetration in Qatar exceeded 50 percent last month, according to independent research released on Sunday.

More than 135,000 households, each with an approximate average of seven residents per household, had access to broadband as of March 2009, figures from research group Arthur D Little revealed.

The number of broadband subscribers in the country increased by 72 percent last year, enabling the country to cross the 50 percent penetration threshold.

The figures were cross-checked with both telecom provider Qtel and government census figures, the firm said in a release.

“Our own study suggests that current pricing is significantly less than average pricing in GCC nations, which is contributing to the ongoing uptake of Broadband in Qatar,” said Morsi Berguiga, principal at Arthur D Little.

High speeds and investment in infrastructure were other reasons why the country had advantages in broadband development, the firm said.

It said ADSL remained the most popular service for accessing broadband but the recent growth in popularity of the Mozaic TV+ triple play service and Qtel’s new Unlimited Mobile Broadband plan had both raised the number of households with access to broadband to record levels.

“We believe that the economic, educational and entertainment potential of broadband will have a positive impact on the future of the country and we will continue to invest to ensure that as many people as possible have access,” said Adel Al Mutawa, executive director, group communication, Qtel.

Global leaders in broadband penetration are South Korea, which has penetration of 93 percent, and Holland at 82 percent.

Qatar moved into the top 30 countries worldwide on the Networked Readiness Index, which measures countries’ readiness to access information and communication technologies, according to the Rankings of the Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009, released last month.

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