19 Jul 2006
Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel) is expected to announce the long-awaited commercial launch of 3G mobile phone services this week, company sources revealed yesterday. Earlier, Q-Tel’s CEO, Dr Nasser M Marafih, said that his company would price 3G services ‘reasonably’; a formal announcement on tariffs and available 3G features is expected to be made tomorrow. Dr Nasser said that around 10% of Q-Tel’s existing handsets were 3G-enabled, and added that ‘We don’t expect a large customer base for 3G initially, but it will definitely pick up later as is the case in other parts of the world.’ He also said 3G services would initially be offered in the Greater Doha area, with coverage to be eventually extended to other areas, including Al Khor, if market research revealed suitable demand.
A state-of-the-art 3G research laboratory will also be established before the end of this year at the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar, with sponsorship and expertise provided by Qatar Telecom and Siemens Communications.