2 Mar 2009
Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has announced that it reached the milestone of 1.8 million active mobile phone subscriptions in Qatar at the end of February, up from 1.5 million in November 2008. The company attributed the rise in customer numbers, up from 1.26 million at the beginning of 2008, to the re-launch of its HALA pre-paid service with reduced charges, and a new post-paid package, Shahry. The announcement coincided with the trial network launch of new mobile rival Vodafone Qatar, which has begun a two-month trial for up to 1,000 selected users. Cellular penetration has long been over 100% in Qatar, but there is still demand for multiple SIM ownership as customers look to take advantage of different offers for business and residential services, in addition to demand from large numbers of foreign workers in the country.