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Qtel upbeat as it eyes place in world's top 20

Company chairman says telecom operator ahead of schedule on 2020 target.

Qatar's Qtel is on course to join the world's top 20 club of telecom operators before its target date of 2020, the company chairman has claimed.

Qtel Group chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani said the Doha-based service provider was "well ahead of schedule" on targets but added that 2009 would be a "challenging year economically".

“When we laid out our vision for 2020 many people felt it was impossible to achieve. In a few years, we have not only convinced the sceptics, but are also well ahead of schedule to achieve our next major goal,” he said in comments published by Gulf Times on Wednesday.

Sheikh Abdullah cautioned that 2009 would be a challenging year because of the global economic downturn while customers still expected better services and higher value in the months ahead.

Qtel Group CEO Dr Nasser Marafih added: “The Qtel Group is well-placed not only to weather the storm, but also emerge stronger. For the industry as a whole, all our services can be properly positioned so as to be beneficial for companies and individuals looking to manage their costs."