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QATAR

  • "ictQATAR issues Class License for Short Range Devices," ictQATAR press release, 1 June 2010: "ictQATAR's Regulatory Authority, issued a Class License for Short Range Devices (SRD) on June 1, 2010. This is the first Class License issued by ictQATAR, with a range of additional Class Licenses to be issued by ictQATAR in the near future... The Class License for Short Range Devices enables anyone in Qatar to possess, install and operate the approved class of devices at prescribed frequencies stated in this License without having to apply for the Class license. Under this Class License, there are no license or spectrum fees. The requirements of approved device and frequencies are included in the Class License for SRDs can be downloaded in PDF at this link. Any person or entity wishing to import for commercial purposes and/or sell SRDs in Qatar will still need to obtain Type Approval from ictQATAR along with the approval for dealing in telecommunications equipment..."
  • استشارة حول إطار عمل الترخيص - ICTRA 0509 [public consultation on licensing framework], ICT Qatar, 11 May 2009 (in English): "No Class Licenses have been issued to date... ictQATAR proposes to establish [a Class License for Private Networks and a Resale (Retail) Class License]... only the following parties will be eligible to benefit from a Resale (Retail) Class License:
    • Hotels.
    • Residential Complexes (towers and compounds).
    • Public Call Offices.
    • Internet Cafés.
    • Wireless Internet Zones (Hotspots).
    "...Persons offering an Internet Access through a Wireless Internet Zone to the public for a fee will come under the Resale Class License regime... premises such restaurants which offer Internet access, through a Wireless Internet Zone, for free will not be subject to the terms of a Resale Class License... To ensure compliance with Article 9 of the Telecommunications Law, a Class License for Private Networks is proposed. There will be no restriction on the type of traffic that could be carried over such networks. Private Networks may connect to the Public Networks through a Gateway where retail tariffs apply. This will be applicable to legal persons who own and/or operate Private Networks for Closed User Groups. ictQATAR intends to adopt a light-touch approach by not requiring owners and/or operators of Private Networks to notify ictQATAR of their intention to do so nor to pay any fees...."
  • "Emiri Decree Opens Qatar's Telecom Sector," press release from the Supreme Council of ICT, Qatar, 7 November 2006: "H H The Emir Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, issued Law No 34 of 2006 that for the first time enables the introduction of competition into Qatar's telecommunications Sector. The new law ends the current telecom monopoly and will come into effect from the date of publishing in the official gazette." Here is the new law in Arabic; for an unofficial English translation, click here.
  • "Qatar opens its Telecoms sector," press release from the Supreme Council of ICT, Qatar, 11 November 2006: "Qatar's Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR), the state's regulator for the telecom sector, is now evolving the framework for licensing procedures and will publish them early next year. 'Once we are done with the licensing procedures we will start distributing the licence[s],' ictQATAR Secretary-General Dr Hessa al-Jaber told a press conference... William Fagan, ictQATAR's Regulatory Authority executive director, said that henceforth ictQATAR would prepare and manage [the] radio spectrum plan in Qatar. The frequencies for various communication services would be provided by ictQATAR. Qtel will hand over the authority for radio spectrum to ictQATAR soon after the Asian Games [are] over. It will happen in the next few weeks... "
  • "Qatar to begin market liberalisation in second quarter," Telegeography CommsUpdate, 7 March 2007: "Qatar's Supreme Council for Information and Communications Technology (ictQATAR) said it would consult potential new telecoms operators by the end of this month, before publishing details of a new licensing plan in the second quarter... According to TeleGeography's GlobalComms database, Qatar's telecoms sector, currently a monopoly of state-run Qtel, is set to be liberalised in phases beginning this year under legislation issued in November 2006."
  • From the ictQatar website (visited 7 September 2007): "We are in the process of developing a National Frequency Application Plan for the management of spectrum in Qatar. Watch this space for details on how to share your ideas on this plan."
  • According to Frequency Allocations Table Footnote QAT41, quoted in Qatar's response to an ITU questionaire on national spectrum management policies (2002), permission for spread-spectrum WLANs "confined within a limited area like hotel, business center, office building, university campus, industrial complex, off-shore installation, etc." in the 2400-2483.5 MHz band is given on a case-by-case basis with maximum EIRP of 100 mW. A maximum EIRP of 1 W "may be considered in few selected areas depending upon technical feasibility."
  • Their answer to the same ITU questionaire also notes that spectrum management in that country is governed by "Law No. 13 (of 1987) and Law No. 21 (of 1998)" and Qatar's regulations concerning spectrum management have not been made public. WTO's Trade Policy Review for Qatar from November 2004 says the "Qatar Public Telecommunications Corporation (QPTC) was established as a public firm in 1987 under Law No. 13 of 1987. [It was restructured by Law No. 21 of 1998 as] a joint-stock company under the name of Q-Tel... [and] the Government granted Q-Tel exclusivity to provide all telecommunication services until 2013..."
  • "Qatar sets up telecommunications regulator" Hitek Magazine, June 2005: the newly formed "Supreme Council for Information and Communication Technology" is headed by a woman, Dr. Hessa Al Jaber. ictQATAR's first task is to establish a modern regulatory framework.
  • ictQATAR was created by royal decree in 2004 as both "a regulator and an enabler of Qatar's ICT sector." It became operational in May 2005. According to their report for WSIS-2, Qatar's "ICT Strategy and Masterplan" includes "a special purpose 'Broadband For All' Access Fund... A potential flagship pilot program will be the 'Wireless Neighborhoods' program which promote wireless broadband technologies in specified zones or neighborhoods.... ictQATAR has appointed a renowned international law firm to draft [new] Telecommunications and e-Commerce Legal and Regulatory Frameworks... "
  • "Illegal WiFi hotspots cause for worry: Qtel," The Peninsula, 18 April 2006: "A few entrepreneurs are establishing their own WiFi hotspots to offer wireless Internet access to customers, right in their homes. According to sources, such entrepreneurs charge a fee of QR100 per month for wireless Internet access to a select group of customers, who are usually located within the same residential building or area, where the signal can be easily accessed. To ensure that the wireless Internet is not accessed by outsiders, such persons allot a log-in name and password to each user... Waleed Mohammad Al Sayed, Executive Director, Group Communications, Qtel, emphasized that any home user of barQ (pronounced Burk, Arabic for lightning) [Q-tel's DSL service] who offers such wireless connections to others outside the premises, for a fee, was engaging in an illegal practice..."
  • "Free WiFi access offered at Qtel Hotspots," The Peninsula, 14 July 2005: "Residents and visitors to Qatar can now access high-speed wireless Internet at selected locations free of cost following the soft opening of Qatar Telecom's Wireless Fidelity (WiFi) service branded Qtel Hotspot. The free access offer is valid for a limited period only after which Qtel Hotspot will be commercially launched... The service, in its introductory phase, is available at all major hotels in Doha, select restaurants and coffee shops..."
  • "Free wireless internet in Qatar's public parks," ictQatar press release in English, 7 March 2007.
  • "Qatar's public park[s] to have free internet access," ictQATAR press release in Arabic or English, 5 October 2006: "ictQATAR, the Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Ministry of Municipality and Agricultural Affairs (MOMAA) to establish Qatar's first Internet Park Initiative titled 'i-Parks'... Three parks are initially selected to be internet enabled which are Albidda, Sheraton and Dahal Alhamam park. The three 'i-Parks' will be operational by the end of the year. According to Mohammed Al-Emadi, i-Parks Project Manager at ictQATAR, with the signing of the MoU, Qatar has become among the leading countries in the region to embark in such an undertaking. 'Internet parks are the wave of the future and Qatar will become a part of this global trend and provide internet access to all citizens,' said Al-Emadi... Along with providing full coverage of WiFi network, each 'ipark' will develop a website to promote its activities and showcase advertisers' products..."
  • "School to use hi-tech child tracking system," by Raynald C. Rivera, The Peninsula, 18 July 2010: "In the wake of the tragic death of a kindergarten student two months ago, after she was left locked in a minivan for hours, an Indian school here is set to implement a high-tech solution that will enable the school and parents to monitor students'entry into and exit from school buses. Called Automated Child Tracking System (ACTS), the state-of-the-art monitoring system will be adopted for the first time in Qatar by Birla Public School when the school reopens in September after the summer vacations, officials said yesterday... All the buses of BPS will be equipped with RFID readers and each student will be given an RFID card... Using the technology, the parents will get a text message every time the student gets into the bus and alights while going to the school from home and when returning. Alert messages will also be sent to the school authorities..."
  • "Bluetooth gives Qataris' social life new dimension," by Odai Sirri for Reuters, 31 July 2005: "The short-range wireless device is challenging age-old customs in Qatar and other Gulf Arab states where the mingling of the sexes remains taboo... 'It was a lot harder to meet guys before these new phones,' she says as she replies to the [Bluejack] message..."
  • "Motorists can use hands-free mobile phone while driving," The Peninsula, (Doha), 20 September 2005.
  • "A National Profile for the Information Society in Qatar," United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Western Asia, 2005.

Middle East - Regional Overview