Qatar Telecom (Q-Tel) unveiled its new Digital Video Broadcast – Handheld (DVB-H) service on Monday, through which 13 television channels can be viewed on specially-enabled mobile handsets. Q-Tel has procured 1,380 of the handsets for a trial during the forthcoming Asian games, which open in Doha next month. The service will be provided free during the games and will be marketed commercially in the country early next year.
Dr Nasser Marafih, CEO of Q-Tel told local paper Khaleej Times that GSM services have been upgraded to take account of the fact that during the games, between fifty and sixty thousand people may all be trying to use mobile phones in the same small area. He claimed: ‘Our GSM service will be ready for the huge surge in traffic. By the time the games begin we will have almost 500 base stations in more than 350 locations across Qatar. We know that coverage in the new high-rise buildings, such as towers, hotels etc need special consideration. For these reasons, we have undertaken a programme of installing indoor solutions that enhance coverage inside buildings. Under this programme, we have currently installed 49 indoor solutions with a further seven being put in place soon.’ Q-Tel also has 1,083 payphones installed at convenient locations, and through 2006 it has installed more than 65 new kiosks to meet increased demand from foreign visitors. The incumbent telco also expects internet access to be in great demand during the games and has expanded the number of its Wi-Fi access points and introduced a WiMAX service to provide a wider wireless web access footprint.