9 Dec 2010
Vodafone Qatar and Alcatel-Lucent have performed the first live demonstration of Long-Term Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband technology in Qatar, the pair announced at a press conference. Using Alcatel-Lucent’s end-to-end LTE solution (using the E-UTRA air interface), and with support from telecoms regulator ictQATAR, the live demo used the 800MHz spectrum band and achieved data speeds up to six times greater than those enjoyed by 3G users. Vodafone also announced the deployment of 17 radio base station towers designed to blend into urban architecture in Qatar. The ‘camouflaged’ base stations mimic minarets, with the aim of enhancing the city environment and protecting the views of places of worship, gardens and tourist sites, while also improving urban cell phone coverage. At the press conference Vodafone also announced that Alcatel-Lucent has been selected as its sole supplier in its expansion into the fixed broadband market.