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Qtel, Vodafone signs deals for Qatar services

Telecoms companies to share mobile phone towers, allow customers to talk to each other.

Qtel and Vodafone have signed two major agreements to share mobile towers and enable their customers to communicate with each other in Qatar.

The two deals for outdoor site sharing and interconnection were bilaterally negotiated and officially signed in Doha by Qtel Group CEO Dr Nasser Marafih and Vodafone Qatar CEO Grahame Maher.

Company chiefs sayd that by sharing sites, they will both be able to provide extensive mobile network coverage, to streamline costs and reduce environmental and community impact by avoiding the unnecessary duplication of towers across Qatar.

“Qtel has long supported competition within Qatar’s communications sector, as we believe that it will highlight the world class service that Qtel provides to its customers who are at the heart of everything we do," said Marafih in comments published by the Gulf Times on Wednesday.

Maher added: “Vodafone Qatar is delighted to have signed these two important agreements with Qtel. Interconnection enables Vodafone Qatar customers, who number 1,000 now, to communicate with Qtel customers.”

Vodafone Qatar said it believes the signing of the two agreements will be the "start of an important partnership" at the wholesale level with Qtel.

Separately, top officials from some of the world’s biggest telecommunications and investment organisations will meet in Qatar on Wednesday to examine opportunities for the industry presented by the current global economic turmoil.

The telecommunications sector has remained relatively robust in the first months of 2009, with certain territories in particular – such as the Middle East – continuing to register ongoing revenue and customer growth.

As patron of the TMT Finance and Investment Middle East 2009, Qtel is looking to use the event to drive discussion about some of the technical and structural opportunities that could enable operators to ensure profitability in the short-term and deliver long-term growth opportunities in the long-term.