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Vodafone Qatar achieves 99% coverage

Company says it hopes to have permanent towers installed by 2010.

Vodafone Qatar has said it has achieved 99 percent population coverage with its new network, and is confident of capturing 40-60 percent market share within 10 years.

The rival to Qatar's Qtel added that it hopes to have its permanent towers up and in place by next year.

In comments published by Qatar Tribune, chief marketing officer Michael Portz said: “We have already started dismantling some of the temporary towers and by 2010 we hope to replace all with permanent structures,”

Commenting on the lack of indoors coverage in some areas, Portz told the paper: “The outdoor coverage has been excellent, and we are working on indoor coverage in some of the towers in the Dafna area which I am confident will be fixed soon.”

He said with the new permanent towers in place the coverage area would further widen and the network would also improve.

Asked if Vodafone would continue to share towers with Qtel, Portz said his company saw no harm in doing so.

He remained confident that the newcomer to the telecom marker could capture 40-60 percent of market share by 2019, adding: “Going by our performance and customer response so far, I am confident that we will achieve this target much earlier than the targeted timeframe."

The company is aiming to increase the number of sale outlets to 1,500 by the end of this year.