Qtel launches 4G network in Qatar
Dubai, October 4, 2011
Qtel today launched its Long-Term Evolution (LTE) programme, which the company said will deliver the fastest and largest 4G network in Qatar.
The project will deploy nearly 900 base stations across the country, delivering the best penetration for 4G coverage in the GCC region. Implementation will begin immediately, adding to the strength and speed of Qtel’s broadband network, it said.
Qtel is making more than QR200 million ($54.95 million) investment in the project, which will deliver mobile speeds of up to 150 mbps.
Announcing the project, Waleed Al Sayed, chief operating officer, Qtel, said: “Qtel continues to invest in the broadband Qatar strategy, which aims to provide one of the fastest, most reliable networks to the people of Qatar. Following a comprehensive study of LTE technology, we are now positioned to build the largest 4G network in Qatar, offering the fastest speeds and most comprehensive coverage.”
“Matching the incredible speeds offered to homes and businesses by the deployment of Qtel Fibre, this project will offer high-speed and quality internet for mobile devices.”
“We completed the test phase for this technology with two potential vendors in July, and it was extremely successful. Previously, we have said we would launch this technology when it reached maturity and when a full range of devices were available. We have received assurances that a full range of devices will be launched in Qatar over the next year, and have begun the launch process for this technology,” he added.
LTE is a wireless broadband technology that supports roaming internet access via cell phones and mobile devices, which seamlessly interworks with 2G and 3G networks. Because of the significant improvements in download speeds and quality, it has been called a 4G technology.
In Qatar, the service will provide customers with universal connectivity at incredible downlink speeds of up to 150 Mbps for a broad range of services, including high-definition (HD) video on demand, interactive gaming, Mozaic TV and high-bandwidth content, the statement said.
One of the major aims of the Broadband Qatar Strategy is to offer ultrafast speeds for both fixed line and mobile broadband customers throughout Qatar.
Qtel successfully completed a nationwide trial of LTE technology over the summer, and is in discussion with some of the world’s leading companies in this area to support the technology roll-out.
Qtel has already completed a number of significant network upgrades in recent years to offer mobile internet at higher speeds and significantly more value for customers. Qtel’s 3G network is currently one of the most advanced in the world, it said.
During the roll-out, 4G coverage will be provided as an option in a growing number of areas in Qatar, starting with highly populated urban areas such as Doha and expanding across the country.
Qtel will work with a number of leading vendors to ensure that devices capable of using 4G technology are available for the people of Qatar at affordable prices.
To support the service, Qtel will offer Wi-Fi offloading, so that customers using wireless internet will be able to switch seamlessly to Wi-Fi hotspots during periods of peak demand, it said.
In addition, the company is already working with businesses and educational institutions to ensure that all sectors of the community are able to benefit from the enhanced speed and reliability of LTE technology, as part of the strategy.
Studies show that Broadband roll-outs can make a direct impact to Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and to exam results for school children and students.
According to the results of the trial study, offering speeds of 150 Mbps will be practically possible in Qatar using 20 MHz bandwidth. To provide this comprehensive national service, Qtel will require new frequency and is discussing this issue with ictQatar. – TradeArabia News Service
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