Kuwaiti broadband provider Qualitynet is reportedly negotiating with a major global telecoms operator for a possible acquisition, Arabian Business reported. Qualitynet CEO Waleed Saleh Al Qallaf said in an interview with the news agency: ‘Yes, one major [deal] is going on now… talking with the owners of Qualitynet and the owners of that entity. They have an interest to acquire us’. Mr Qallaf also stated that the government’s investment in Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology, which provides higher quality of service for delay-sensitive voice and video communications traffic and is reportedly used by 15% of the households in Kuwait, will back up Qualitynet’s plans to expand. The CEO declared that 27 areas will deploy the optical fibre network in the next six months.
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, Qualitynet is owned by Bahrain Telecommunications Company (Batelco, 44%), Ali Al Ghanim & Sons General Trading and the National Bank of Kuwait. During the early years of its operation, Qualitynet was widely attributed as having a 70% broadband market share, although at end-2012 parent company Batelco claimed it had a 37% share of the fixed broadband market, down from 40% at end-2009. However, Qualitynet’s end-2012 subscriber figure of 39,000 – as supplied by Batelco – gives the Internet service provider (ISP) a market share of around 25%, according to figures based on CSB data and other local reports.