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Posted On: 14 April 2009 11:04 am
Updated On: 12 November 2020 02:09 pm

Vodafone, Qtel talks ‘at snail’s pace’

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Negotiations for sharing transmission towers with Qtel have not made any significant progress, Vodafone’s chief executive officer Grahame Maher has said. Answering a wide range of questions on the causes for the delay in launching its services in Qatar, Maher in an exclusive interview to the local Arabic daily Arrayah said it was a travesty of truth to say that the Qtel “offered us many facilities and that we have not made use of them”. He said: “We have been in negotiations with the Qtel for the past nine months. Our emphasis has been on joint utilisation of the transmission towers. Unfortunately the negotiations have been going on at a snail’s pace. We haven’t been able to agree on sharing even one tower. All our efforts in this regard have gone vain. However, I am confident that at the end of the day they will agree to our request.” According to Maher, the most pertinent point in this context was that the end users – the subscribers – would benefit because it would bring down operational costs. “If we were to set up a tower of our own the cost thereof will naturally be included to our overhead expenses and we will inevitably increase our charges to the customer. “Grinding routine and bureaucracy have caused undue delay in the implementation of several vital decisions especially with the middle level management in the Qtel. “We have been pursuing a lot of paper work with the government for the past three months in order to get clearance for a suitable site for our installations but we haven’t been able to make any headway. The Urban Planning department has so far not agreed to allocate any site for us. Consequently we have set up some temporary sites. “I for one am not in favour of uniform charges for the services offered to the customers. But the only thing that has been agreed upon is the charges pertaining to inter-network connections.”