Ooredoo Qatar intends to complete a national LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) network coverage footprint this year whilst aiming for a target of ‘100%’ fibre penetration among its fixed broadband customers, the company told the Gulf Times at a press conference. As previously reported by CommsUpdate, Ooredoo Qatar reached the milestone of 200,000 customers connected to its fibre broadband network in December 2014, around three years after launching the high speed triple-play connectivity service, with the lion’s share of its existing fixed broadband customers having been transferred from lower-bandwidth ADSL connections. Also that month, Ooredoo launched the country’s first commercial LTE-A service under the ‘4G+’ banner, boosting its mobile network’s peak mobile downlink data speeds to 225Mbps from its previous limit of 150Mbps, and covering parts of Doha – including Corniche, West Bay lagoon, Katara, Souq Waqif, Al Rayyan, Shahaniya and Sealine – for devices supporting LTE-A on either 800MHz or 2600MHz frequency bands. Ooredoo’s new chief business officer Sheikh Nasser bin Hamad al-Thani told Gulf Times yesterday that 4G+ services were now available in additional major areas such as Al Wakrah, Al Gharafa and Education City, but the LTE-A technology was ‘still pending in some highways along the northern and southern parts of Qatar’ while the goal was to ‘provide the entire country with 4G+ services’. Sheikh Nasser also said Ooredoo was in ‘constant talks’ with Samsung, Huawei and Apple for the manufacture of LTE-A-capable smart devices, noting: ‘Our challenge to mobile phone manufacturers is to keep up with the technology that is now available in the market because not many smart devices are capable of using 4G+.’ To address the compatibility demand, Ooredoo has launched the Samsung Alpha, Huawei Ascend Mate 7 and Huawei (Mi-Fi) E5786 devices.