Delays to fixed line award won’t affect service launch, says Vodafone Qatar

23 Dec 2009

The official award of Qatar’s second fixed line licence to Vodafone Qatar has been delayed again, this time until the first quarter of next year, due to corporate governance issues, ITP.net reports. The British-Qatari joint venture was announced as the winner of the second national operator (SNO) licence in September 2008, with commercial fixed line services originally mooted for 2009, whilst in the meantime it broke the monopoly of Qatar Telecom (Qtel) with the launch of 2G/3G services in July 2009. William Fagan, the head of the country’s regulator, ictQATAR, told CommsMEA that Vodafone Qatar and its local investor Qatar Foundation had not yet formed the actual company that will be awarded the fixed licence. ‘There are some corporate governance issues which we expect will be overcome very shortly,’ he said, stressing that it was not the regulator holding up proceedings. Fagan added that he expects all problems to be resolved early next year, allowing fixed line services to be launched sometime before the end of 2010. The news did not radically change an announcement in November, when Vodafone Qatar said the fixed line consortium was working through pre-licensing regulatory requirements specified by ictQATAR, which when finished would enable its first fixed services to be launched in late 2010.

Qatar, Vodafone Qatar