Qatar Telecom expands abroad while waiting for competition at home

Qtel is leveraging its strong balance sheet resulting from its monopoly of telecommunications in its home market to expand regionally and globally...

According to a new report from Jordan based Arab Advisors Group the operator has plans to be one of the top 20-teleco operators by 2020 with three key areas of focus: Consumer wireless, Consumer fixed wireless and corporate managed services. 

Qatar is one of the few remaining telecom markets in the Arab World which remains a monopoly. This was due to change in November 2006 when ictQATAR was established as the country's telecom regulator. ictQATAR was authorised to introduce competition, initially by issuing new licenses. Two licenses were issued during 2007, one for cellular and one for fixed. At the beginning of 2007, the regulator released the procedures for the award of a second mobile license

However, for the present Qtel remains the sole cellular operator in Qatar. It is expected to keep its monopoly until late 2007 or early 2008. Qtel operates in a well-penetrated cellular market, with more than 121% penetration by end of March 2007, compared to 110% by end of 2006. Cellular subscribers are projected to grow at a CAGR of 5.74% between 2007-2011 for a cellular penetration rate of 125% by end of 2011.

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