ictQatar prepared to investigate unlicenced telcos

ictQatar says it is ready to investigate and take action against unlicenced operators

Tags: QatarVirgin Mobile Qatar (www.virginmobile.com.qa)Vodafone QatarictQATAR (www.ict.gov.qa)
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ictQatar prepared to investigate unlicenced telcos Virgin Mobile Qatar launched services in May, with Virgin Group's founder Richard Branson visiting Doha for the opening ceremony. (Getty Images)
By  Roger Field Published  May 31, 2010

Qatar's telecom regulator, ictQatar, said it is prepared to investigate and potentially take action against any company found to be providing telecommunications services to the public without a licence.

The regulator made the statement after the country's second operator, Vodafone Qatar, said that it was preparing to take legal action against ictQatar for allowing Virgin Mobile to launch services in the country in May.

Grahame Maher, CEO of Vodafone Qatar, said last week that he considered Virgin Mobile Qatar, which entered the country under a "brand licencing agreement" with incumbent operator Qtel, to be a service provider, making it a breach of the licence conditions Vodafone agreed to.

"Vodafone Qatar views this as a violation of its second public mobile telecommunications networks and services licence conditions and the telecoms law in Qatar which states that no further mobile service provider would enter into the market, and be licensed, until the proposed Sector review," Vodafone Qatar said in a statement released last Wednesday.

ictQatar responded with a statement explaining that any organisation with concerns about the presence of Virgin Mobile in Qatar should file a formal complaint with the regulator, including evidence to support the concerns.

"ictQATAR will investigate any properly filed complaint and take appropriate action following due process and the consideration of all relevant information," the regulator said.

"ictQATAR has objectives and powers to identify and address anti-competitive practices in the telecommunications sector, to ensure the orderly development and regulation of the telecommunications sector, and to establish a fair, objective and transparent licensing regime for service providers," the regulator added.

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