Cracking down on the illegal sale of radio and telecommunication equipment in Qatar, the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) has served notice of violation to 48 shops for operating without a valid licence.
The public have been urged to inform CRA through its hotline 103 if they come to know of a company or individual selling such equipment without a licence.
“We will conduct an inspection immediately and take strong actions against those found selling illegal equipment or selling equipment without a valid licence issued by CRA,” spokesperson Faisal al-Shuaibi announced on Monday.
A total of 135 shops were visited by the CRA team over five days as part of a routine inspection, targeting popular locations for sale of communication equipment, covering malls, souks, commercial areas, as well as neighbourhood grocery stores.
CRA issued 48 notices for a range of violations, the most common being shops selling mobile phones without a valid licence. The notice entails the non-compliant shops to regularise their licence or to obtain the right licence if they do not have one.
If the appropriate licences have not been obtained, CRA is empowered to take legal action against the defaulters.
CRA, which manages Qatar’s radio spectrum, conducts routine inspections to ensure compliance with the Telecommunications Law. Under the law, the import and sale of radio and telecommunication equipment requires an authorisation from CRA.
Approvals are necessary to ensure the equipment meets certain safety and technical standards. Radio and telecommunication equipment includes, but is not limited to, mobile phones, wireless local area networks and short range devices.
“CRA’s Spectrum Management Department has a dedicated team to conduct regular inspections of businesses involved in telecommunication dealings,” the spokesperson asserted.
In addition to routine inspections, citizens can request a CRA inspection if they suspect the unauthorised sale or use of radio and telecommunication equipment at any location in Qatar.
To request an inspection, or to apply for an import authorisation, type approval and customs clearance certificate, contact CRA by e-mail at [email protected], or by calling CRA’s hotline number: 103.
CRA is the communications regulator in Qatar established by Emiri Decree (42) in 2014.
CRA regulates the communications and information technology sector, postal services, and access to digital media.
CRA uses its regulatory powers mandated by the Emiri Decree "to protect consumer rights, ensure competition, manage the resolution of disputes and manage the electromagnetic spectrum".
In all its activities, the CRA says it seeks "to ensure the provision of advanced, innovative and reliable ICT and postal services across Qatar".
CRA inspectors conducting an inspection at a shop.