Qatar Telecom (Qtel) has announced that it has allocated QAR600 million (USD165 million) to roll out the first phase of its planned three-year nationwide commercial fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) broadband network. On completion, Qtel will be able to provide high speed internet at speeds of at least 100Mbps, high-definition digital television and video-on-demand (VoD), as well as telephony over the same line. The company says that more than 2,500 Qatari companies are already enjoying speeds of up to 1Gbps via fibre-based solutions, and it plans to expand direct fibre facilities for businesses and public organisations alongside the residential network rollout. Dr. Nasser Marafih, Qtel’s CEO, said: ‘This is a major step forward for Qtel and for the people of Qatar. Our aim is to support the national strategy to make Qatar one of the best connected nations in the region, and ultimately the world, and the national rollout of FTTH will play an essential part in that process. The national FTTH network will bring the next generation of technology services and entertainment to Qatar, and transform people’s experience of the internet.’ Qtel recently completed a pilot deployment of FTTH in Qatar in partnership with residential property developers, whilst it will also be rolling out fibre-to-the-building (FTTB) connections for multi-dwelling occupants.
In other news, satellite provider Intelsat has revealed that Qtel has signed a multi-year capacity contract on Intelsat’s recently-launched Intelsat 15 satellite (IS-15). Qtel will utilise the capacity to expand its international connectivity and provide a portfolio of services for its wholesale and enterprise customers in the Middle East.