The situation will never be the same for hundreds of households in the Mesaieed Industrial City (MIC) new housing community, who have been waiting for months to avail of Qtel’s land line services. Within a few weeks the community will enjoy the benefits of Qtel’s WiMAX system, according to an official.
About 600 households, under MIC’s new project which comprises employees of Qatalum, QAFCO and QP, had to use their mobile phones or find other alternative to local calls.
“The new project comprises 1,100 housing units out of which almost 300 were first given away. People who moved in first have got their telephone connections but the rest of us do not have land lines,” one of the residents told The Peninsula. “Many of us have been waiting for more than four months since applications were sent. The companies here have been doing their best to help us.” The unprecedented delay in distributing telephone connections was due to shortage of needed devices. “There was a shortage of equipment supply,” said Adel Al Mutawa, Executive Director of Group Communications, Qtel. “It has been resolved now and within one or two weeks the telephone connections will be made available. The households will be connected through WiMAX system, a telecommunications technology providing wireless data, voice and video over long distances,” he told The Peninsula.
WiMAX, meaning Worldwide Interoperability for Microwave Access, is a telecommunications technology that provides wireless transmission of data using a variety of transmission modes. The technology provides high broadband speed without the need for any cables and can provide universal Internet access. In practical terms, WiMAX operates similar to WiFi but at higher speeds, over greater distances and for a greater
number of users.
“WiMAX base station for broadcasting is functional now. The station can connect directly to the Internet using a high-bandwidth, wired connection or to a similar station using a line-of-sight, microwave link. This technology has made it possible to connect the interior parts of the country. It can potentially erase the suburban and rural blackout areas that currently have no broadband Internet access because services providers do not have to use cables over long distances,” he said.
“We are waiting for the signal reception device, the shipment of which will be done soon. The manufacturers have given high priority for Qtel. In few weeks, the receptors will be installed and households can enjoy Qtel service,” Al Mutawa said.
WiMAX was introduced in Qatar as part of enhancing the telecommunication system during the Doha Asian Games in 2006. Since then, Qtel extended WiMAX services all over Qatar. Qtel partnered with ATCO and Clearwire in 2007 to provide WiMAX under the brand ‘Wi-tribe’ with focus on emerging markets with low fixed and Internet penetration.
This was in line with the telecommunication company’s is to become one of the world’s top 20 operators by 2020.
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