Vodafone Qatar makes first calls on their new mobile network

Doha, 07 January, 2009:  For the first time in public, Vodafone Qatar made several calls on their new mobile network in a demonstration to the local media.  The actual first call was made on 24 December, 2008, and testing and trials are ongoing.

Led by Vodafone’s Head of Technology, Dem Eleso, journalists were given an account balance check and call demonstration, which clearly showed the Vodafone number range starting with 7. This call used the spectrum allocated under the Mobile Licence, and the handsets displayed Vodafone QA, showing that all is up and running.

Dem explained that while this is a big step, there is still a lot to do. Vodafone’s major focus is on testing for quality of service and while progress is good, they will only launch services when they are up to Vodafone’s global quality levels.

The Core Network and Core IT Systems are in place and working. The equipment is all housed in the state of the art MEEZA Data Centre Facility (www.meeza.com.qa), which is part of the Qatar Science and Technology Park development (QSTP).   

Grahame Maher, Vodafone’s CEO, explained that Vodafone is also focused on completion of negotiations with QTEL for interconnection and tower sharing, as well as the approval and construction of radio sites for coverage across the country.  Grahame went on to say that Vodafone’s commitment to turn on the mobile network on 01/03/09 will be met, but reinforced Dem’s comments that commercial services will only commence once the quality is up to Vodafone international standards.

Vodafone’s office, which promises to be of world class Vodafone standard, will also be located at QSTP.  Very international with lots of open space featuring a blend of offices and work areas with the Customer Call Centre at the heart of the office, the premises will be open and accommodating 145 employees by the end of February.

Grahame finished off by saying that to “Make a World of Difference for the people in Qatar” the quality of services must be balanced with a key focus on customers.


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