Qatar aspires to build a high speed and affordable broadband network in the near future with minimum access speeds of 50+Mbps (mega bytes per second), chief of Qatar’s telecommunications regulatory authority said yesterday.
Sheikha Hessa Al Jaber, Secretary-General of ictQatar, in her opening address to the 17th International Conference on Telecommunications, that opened here yesterday, said a high speed broadband would not only prepare the country for competition in the global economy, but also ensure efficient delivery of health care, education and government services in the country.
“The availability of affordable, fast and reliable connectively is an important lever and enabler to stimulate investments in new businesses. Today, 63 percent of Qatar’s households are connected to broadband networks with minimum access speeds of 1Mbps. In the near future, Qatar aspires to build a broadband backbone to cover the country with minimum access speeds of 50+Mbps,” she said.
She said, ictQatar was committed to building the next-generation broadband to be accessible to all people at affordable cost and was developing a pragmatic strategy “that can utilise the best infrastructure possible and this might result in a mix of fixed and wireless technologies to ensure a national broadband coverage.”
But to fully benefit from the next-generation broadband, Qatar needs strong international connectivity. “Today’s data-based communications are not limited to local content. They are global. In Qatar, Qtel, Vodafone and other investors are expanding our international gateway capacity. For large private networks, international connectivity will also be supported by new VSAT operators,” said Al Jaber.
To achieve Qatar’s National Vision 2030, it needs an advanced IT infrastructure, a platform that will attract investments and talents, a legal environment that fosters entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation, and citizens that continue to learn, embrace new technologies, and harness skills.
“Building a knowledge-based economy requires new ways of thinking and adoption of unconventional business models. Our local businesses will need to adopt new practices like e-commerce, be more entrepreneurial and customer-focused, embrace new technologies and be open to market opportunities,” said Al Jaber.
Nick Dent, Qtel’s COO, said nobody knows what the future of information and communications technology is, but it is important to have people who have the skills, knowledge and ideas to innovate and apply new technologies when they come.
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