Vodafone Qatar awarded fixed licence
Vodafone Qatar CEO Grahame Maher looking forward to offering "total communications services to the residents of Qatar
Vodafone will finally be able to offer fixed broadband and telephone services in Qatar, after the country's telecoms regulator issued it with the country's second public fixed networks and services licence.
Vodafone Qatar CEO, Grahame Maher, said: "The combined strengths provided by the mobile and fixed services will allow us to deliver total communications services to our customers, whilst delivering value to our customers and shareholders."
It was announced in September 2008 that the second licence had been awarded to a separate company, the Vodafone and Qatar Foundation, which is 51% owned by the Vodafone Group and 49% owned by the Qatar Foundation.
The Vodafone and Qatar Foundation has a 45% stake in Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C, the entity which has now been awarded the licence, with 40% of the firm's capital listed on the Qatar stock exchange and the remaining 15% held by Qatari institutional investors.
In a statement released yesterday, Vodafone said the award of the licence is subject to the change in the company's articles of association which will be recommended to be approved at the extraordinary general meeting (EGM).
Qatar's incumbent telecom operator, Qtel, currently provides fixed line access to the residents of Qatar. It had 285,000 fixed line customers as of the fourth quarter of last year.
In November, Vodafone said it hoped to launch fixed services by "late 2010", but that was when it envisaged the handover of the licence taking place before the end of 2009.