The telecommunications regulatory authority, ictQATAR, has ruled out chances of a possible conflict of interest with the entry of Vodafone into Qatar’s telecom sector. Dr Hessa Al Jaber, Secretary General, ictQATAR, said that she does not think there will be a conflict of interest as both Vodafone and Qtel are 100 percent committed to being dominant in the market.
Allaying concerns about a possible clash of interest between Qtel and the government-supported Qatar Foundation’s partner Vodafone, Dr Al Jaber said in an interview with the New York Times: “QF is like any other foundation; they want to ensure there is sustainable income for their projects”.
QF would like to have a sustainable investment and will do everything to render the project successful. In the agreement and licensing, Vodafone controls 100 percent of the consortium. “Therefore, I do not think that Qtel and Vodafone will get together. We need to make sure that this benefits the telecom economy as well as customers. We have been waiting for this to happen for a long time, to have choice in the telecom market”, Dr Al Jaber said.
On private-public partnership in the GCC, she said what has happened in the GCC for the last couple of years and will continue in the years to come is that governments are generating a lot of income, mainly through oil and gas. “We need to diversify this. For this reason, ictQATAR was one of our priorities. ICT includes our telecom sector, which is allocated may be two percent of the GDP”.
For the sector to grow, we will need entrepreneurs to be involved, and not just the government. If we create the real catalyst, especially for young people, with private-public partnerships, we as the government would only provide the tools. The companies will be fully owned by entrepreneurs, who will be able to develop their ideas and strengthen the sector.
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