The year 2008 was marked by momentum on many fronts for ictQATAR, the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology. More parents are involved in their children’s day-to-day educational progress with the help of technology and business leaders are boosting revenue and performance. More than 300 online services can be accessed anytime, anywhere through Qatar’s online government portal Hukoomi. And because of round-the-clock vigilance by a team of international cyber experts, children and adult users are safer on the Internet.
In its newly released Annual Report, ictQATAR chronicles its accomplishments of the past year and shows how information and communication technology (ICT) is helping the people of Qatar thrive. The report is divided into two main sections. The first, Progress Toward a Networked Nation, details ictQATAR’s achievements in telecommunication sector’s regulation and its efforts in building a vital market for ICT. The second section, ICT in Daily Life, showcases ictQATAR’s programs aimed directly at connecting people to technologies that can enrich their lives, such as e-Education, e-Health, e-Business, e-Inclusion and cyber safety.
Highlights of ictQATAR’s Annual Report include:
• Qatar’s rapid rise in ranking in the Global Information Technology Report 2008-2009, that assesses a nation’s Network Readiness, with Qatar rising to 29th in the world.
• The official entry of a second operator, Vodafone Qatar, into the mobile telecommunications market, with a second license also awarded to Vodafone Qatar for fixed service.
• The continued development of a comprehensive Regulatory Framework for the telecommunications sector, including dominance designation, interconnection agreement and rate determination, tariff approval, billing instructions, licensing framework, Very Small Aperture Terminal liberalization, type approval, numbering and spectrum allocation.
• Creation of a Market Development Department to help foster innovation and technological change in Qatar’s ICT sector.
• Expansion of services offered on Qatar’s online government portal, Hukoomi (www.gov.qa), and the development of a secure Government Network that will link all government agencies together on a shared platform.
• Integration of technology into more schools, with the expansion of ictQATAR’s Knowledge Net program, an innovative three-way portal that connects parents, teachers and students.
• A new emphasis on better connecting persons with disabilities to technologies that can help them more fully engage in society.
• The continued work of ictQATAR’s Q-CERT team in protecting our nation’s critical information systems and coordinating with global partners to address international cyber threats.
• ictQATAR’s embrace of Web 2.0 and social media as an integral tool of communications, with participation in 14 social media outlets – in both English and Arabic.
A look back at ictQATAR’s numerous stakeholder engagement events during the year are also included in the report, such as Media Connected, a forum for journalists that addressing the impact of ICT on the field of journalism; the launch of the Connected Speaker Series that featured Dr. Soumitra Dutta discussing Web 2.0 and social media; Live Technology, an interactive exhibition of new technologies for kids; and “Exploring ICT in Education,” a conference for the education community in Qatar.
The full ictQATAR Annual Report is can be viewed online at www.ictQATAR.qa/annualreport2008 .
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