By: Hamad Abdulla Jassim Al Thani, CEO, Vodafone Qatar
The dynamism and pace of development in Qatar is impossible to ignore. All around us new cities, hospitals, stadiums and other major infrastructure projects are proceeding at an incredible pace. And whilst it might be easier to spot the progress taking place in full view above ground, a crucial contributor to the country’s future success is taking shape just as rapidly below the surface.
Qatar already has a world-leading mobile network – thanks in large part to more than 1 billion QAR we have invested in recent years. Improved network coverage and performance has helped to deliver a world-class customer experience predicated on fast connection speeds, great mobile coverage and unparalleled access to video, social media and online streaming.
And now we’re firmly focused on enhancing Qatar’s fixed line infrastructure as we move the country towards becoming one of the most connected in the world. We’re accelerating the development of a vast underground network of fibre cables that will deliver an array of high-speed, safe and secure products and services to customers all over Qatar.
Such progress will develop further and faster as a result of significant changes to our business that we recently announced. These included the extension of our licence by another 40 years to 2068 and a reduction of share capital designed to deliver the long-term growth potential of the company. Vodafone is now a 95% Qatari-owned Company after we announced Qatar Foundation’s purchase of Vodafone Group’s stake in Vodafone Qatar.
Together these changes will accelerate Vodafone Qatar’s future development as an industry leader in the country by enabling us to concentrate our efforts fully on investments into fixed line and a range of other steps that will move us towards providing a converged digital ecosystem with smart solutions. They will underpin our ability to drive digital transformation in support of the Qatar National Vision 2030.
For business customers, the advent of our fixed line services will deliver enormous benefits ranging from great calling rates to international locations, superfast broadband and smarter and more competitive business solutions. This will enable their people to work faster and be more productive, improving business operations. Fast speed networks and widespread connectivity produce incredible ideas, innovations and technologies that help make our lives easier, healthier, smarter and more fulfilling. By rolling out vast fixed line infrastructure, we’re enabling the country’s most innovative businesses and organisations to build a better tomorrow.
For consumers, the possibilities are every bit as exciting. Fixed line services promises more choice, high speeds and of course a vast array of content. As the industry continues towards convergence – offering mobile, fixed broadband, fixed telephony and TV services bundled together – customers have a great deal to look forward to.
In the past few months, we’ve made great progress in building out fixed infrastructure in a number of locations around the country. In doing so, we’ve drawn on the very best of the Vodafone brand globally and the access to all the services and support this provides, presenting opportunities to develop technology for a better future.
We’re proud to be providing the backbone and fixed infrastructure to many of the country’s iconic developments, supporting the products and services on which they depend for the effective running of their operations.
The result is that we’re bringing sustainable and effective competition to Qatar. This encourages further investment and ultimately delivers innovation and efficiency. The benefits to consumers and businesses are clear.
In the coming weeks we will be announcing a series of exciting plans and updates designed to accelerate Qatar’s journey towards becoming one of the most connected and technologically advanced countries in the world. The future is exciting, and we’ve never been more ready.