10 Feb 2011
The Qatar Telecom (Qtel) group has been trialling Long Term Evolution (LTE) in a number of countries ahead of planned launches in 2011 or 2012, according to its CEO, Dr Nasser Marafih, speaking to Mobile World Live. Qtel has been conducting LTE trials in ‘a number of markets in our group’, he said, adding that: ‘We believe mobile broadband is going to fuel future growth in the industry so it is important to be positioned in that field as quickly as possible.’ In addition to its domestic market, Qtel’s subsidiaries operate cellular services in Kuwait (Wataniya Telecom), Algeria (Nedjma), Tunisia (Tunisiana), Maldives (Wataniya), Palestinian Territory (Wataniya Palestine Mobile Telecommunications Company), Oman (Nawras), Iraq (Asiacell), Indonesia (Indosat), Singapore (StarHub), Laos (Lao Telecommunications Company) and Cambodia (Mfone). Its Saudi Arabian unit Bravo operates an iDEN-based network, whilst its ‘Wi-Tribe’ WiMAX group is present in Pakistan, Jordan and the Philippines. The operator has also reportedly carried out LTE trials with Indian telco Tata Communications, with which it has an agreement to jointly offer high speed services to enterprises in Qatar and elsewhere.