Vodafone Qatar will turn on its mobile network in the country on March 1.
During its nation-wide roll-out of the service, Qatar’s second mobile operator will offer both pre-paid and post-paid mobile services, company chief executive officer Grahame Maher and senior executives, Dem Eleso (head of technology) and Mathew Harrison-Harvey (director, regulatory and external relations) said.
High-speed Internet and data communication among other services will be available to Vodafone mobile customers in Qatar from the very early days.
After a rigorous process, Vodafone Qatar has chosen its technology partners – Alcatel Lucent will be responsible for construction and integration of technologies across the country and EDS for information technology.
“We will be deploying the advanced mobile technology in Qatar. We will be bringing in experience, expertise and ideas from our global operations,” Vodafone Qatar executives said.
They said significant progress had been achieved in the scheduled roll out of Vodafone Qatar’s mobile service on March 1.
Maher and Eleso said Vodafone Qatar would be building towers in hundreds of sites and installations in buildings across Qatar.
“However, in some places we will be sharing just the tower – metal work infrastructure, with Qtel. We will be doing this wherever it makes sense according to our plan,” Eleso said.
He said Vodafone Qatar was in the process of hiring quality engineering talent to join its team and help it in the nationwide roll out of its mobile service.
Maher told Gulf Times Vodafone Qatar would be offering WiMAX service in Qatar.
“Yes, our fixed line licence also includes fixed WiMAX spectrum and service rights,” he said.
He said Vodafone Qatar was looking at The Pearl-Qatar and Qatari Diar’s Lusail Development among other locations in the country to offer the WiMAX service.
WiMAX, the worldwide interoperability for microwave access, is a telecommunications technology aimed at providing wireless data over long distances in a variety of ways, from point-to-point links to full mobile cellular type access.
On Vodafone Qatar setting up the second fixed line service in the country, Maher said: “We are completing the fixed license pre-grant requirements set by ictQATAR. We hope to achieve it by the year-end and roll out the fixed line service also in 2009.”
Harrison-Harvey said under Vodafone Qatar’s licence agreement it was required to provide number portability freedom in the country.
Under this, Vodafone customers will have the freedom to carry their mobile numbers if they opt to switch to the Qtel service. Similarly, Qtel customers can retain their mobile numbers if they choose Vodafone as their service provider.
“We are in discussion with ictQATAR and Qtel as to the right time and solution for offering the number portability,” Harrison-Harvey said.
Maher added: “We are here for competition and are hopeful of winning by offering value to our customers. There are opportunities for new services and better value and Vodafone will use its worldwide experience to offer customers innovative solutions.”
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