Vodafone Qatar has begun a project to build a fibre-optic backbone network, which will be connected to the shared Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN), with the eventual aim of providing fibre-to-the-home (FTTH, including offices) throughout the entire country. The Peninsular newspaper reports that Vodafone has awarded the fibre rollout contract to LS Cable, whilst Alcatel-Lucent has been awarded a contract to fully integrate the fibre infrastructure with Vodafone’s mobile network. To ensure reliability, the network will be fully redundant, with two data centres in separate locations. Digging of the first trenches between the data centres has already begun. According to the UK-backed cellco: ‘Vodafone is building a state-of-the-art IP-based network with converged mobile and fixed platforms that will provide world class security and performance … With no old-style legacy platforms to integrate, Vodafone’s network will provide an innovative range of seamless services across mobile and fixed networks.’ The planned QNBN network programme will also involve the government, regulator ictQATAR and incumbent telco Qatar Telecom (Qtel).
Vodafone has also started building Qatar’s second international landing station. Acting CEO John Tombleson said of the project: ‘Having an alternative international landing station is a key strategic advantage to Qatar … Vodafone’s international network will offer an alternative choice for businesses in the country to secure their international connectivity with a world-class network.’