Over 50pc Qatar households have broadband
Doha , April 5, 2009
Qatar’s ongoing efforts to develop a thriving knowledge economy received a boost with the March figures revealing that broadband penetration has exceeded more than 50 percent of households for the first time in the country.
As per figures compiled by leading independent research group Arthur D. Little, more than 135,000 households – each with an approximate average of seven residents per household – now have access to broadband Internet, as of March 2009.
ADSL remains the most popular service for accessing broadband in Qatar but the recent growth in popularity of the Mozaic TV+ “triple play” service, and Qtel’s new Unlimited Mobile Broadband plan have both pushed the number of households with access to broadband to record high levels.
The ongoing growth in the number of broadband subscribers, which increased by 72 per cent last year, means that Qatar has now comfortably crossed the 50 per cent penetration threshold for broadband access.
Karim Taga, managing director at Arthur D. Little and head of the Techno-Economics practice, explains: “Qatar enjoys a number of advantages in the field of broadband development, with highly attractive pricing structures, high speeds, and pragmatic customer-focused infrastructural investment”.
Morsi Berguiga, principal at Arthur D. Little, adds: “Our own study suggests that current pricing is significantly less than average pricing in GCC nations, which is contributing to the ongoing uptake of Broadband in Qatar.”
While the country still has some way to catch-up with the global leaders – with nations such as The Republic of Korea touching 93 per cent and The Netherlands achieving 82 per cent broadband penetration – the rapid growth of recent months, in spite of international economic pressures, is indicative of the wider potential for Qatar to become a world leader in this field.
According to the rankings of the Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009 released on March 26, Qatar has moved into the Top 30 countries worldwide on the Network Readiness Index.
“We are very pleased to have enabled Qatar to have achieved this remarkable milestone, providing a broadband connection to more than half the households in the nation," said Adel Al Mutawa, executive director, Group Communication, Qtel.
"We believe that the economic, educational and entertainment potential of broadband will have a positive impact on the future of the country, and we will continue to invest to ensure that as many people as possible have access," he added.-TradeArabia News Service