Vodafone Qatar Welcomes ICTQatar Decision that Qtel's Virgin Mobile Launch Violated the Telecoms Law and Mislead the People of Qatar


24 July, 2010: Vodafone Qatar Q.S.C. ("Vodafone Qatar") welcomed ictQATAR's, the country's telecommunications regulator, landmark decision in response to Vodafone Qatar's complaint against Qatar Telecommunication's (Qtel) introduction of Virgin Mobile in Qatar on 13 May 2010.

In this decision, ictQATAR determined that Vodafone Qatar was correct in its complaint that Qtel had illegally violated the Qatar telecoms law and significantly mislead the people in Qatar by their introduction of Virgin Mobile in Qatar.

In making this decision, ictQATAR has used a new dispute resolution process which requires all decisions to be made in a transparent, consultative, and evidence-based manner in accordance with the rules and requirements of the Telecommunications Law (Decree Law No 34) 2006. This process is consistent with what Vodafone is subject to in other countries with leading national telecommunications regulatory frameworks.

This new approach to decision-making by ictQATAR is critical to ensure the law is adhered to and achieves ictQATAR's stated objectives to "foster an efficient telecommunications sector to benefit society, create a showcase for successful sector reform, and provide a sustainable business environment". These are objectives which Vodafone is committed to supporting and will assist in achieving His Highness the Emir's Vision 2030 for the State of Qatar.

Vodafone Qatar has noted that ictQATAR has requested Qtel to change significantly how the Virgin Mobile brand in Qatar is represented compared to what was launched on 13 May 2010. Vodafone Qatar is carefully reviewing ictQATAR's decision to determine if they take further legal action with courts to rectify the impact of Qtel's illegal behaviour on their organisation and shareholders. Vodafone Qatar will also carefully monitor Qtel's compliance with the new brand requirements and will report any breaches to ictQATAR.

Commenting on ictQATAR's decision, H.E. Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Saud Al Thani, Chairman of Vodafone Qatar, said, "Vodafone Qatar complained to ictQATAR about Qtel's introduction of Virgin Mobile because we believe Qtel was engaging in activities against the law which was against the interest of our shareholders. We believe that ictQATAR decision confirms we were right to take this complaint."

"We also welcome ictQATAR's new dispute resolution process, which is an important step to developing a world class regulatory framework to support Qatar in having a world leading communications sector. Our lawyers are reviewing the decision and will shortly advice Vodafone Qatar's Board on our options for legal action that are in the interest of our shareholders and for damages resulting from Qtel's behaviour which has been found to be illegal by ictQATAR," continued H.E. Sheikh Abdulrahman Bin Saud Al Thani.




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