A new strategy for the telecommunications sector in Qatar will be developed soon, revealed
Mohammed Ali Al Mannai, the President of the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA). The CRA will shortly be reviewing the telecommunications market in the country to help formulate the strategy, Al Mannai added.
Al Mannai pointed out that the prices of mobile and Internet services in the State of Qatar are in line with the rest of the countries in the region. According to a report of the "Arab Advisors Group" on the Internet services through fibre cables, the highest costs are in Iraq, where 100 Mbps costs $350 per month, while cost of $144 per month in Qatar is the second lowest.
As per a report published in June this year by CRA, the mobile home broadband prices in Qatar are among the lowest prices in the region and much lower than the average, said Al Mannai. But he said the prices of leased lines and services provided to companies are relatively high compared to global standards, and therefore one of the main concerns of the Authorities is the enhancing the presence of competitively priced solutions.
He also revealed that Qatar has the highest rates of access to mobile services in the world. More than 5 million mobile numbers have been allocated so far in addition to about 1.4 million fixed line numbers.
Qatar ranked 27th among most networked nations in the world and second among Arab countries, as per the 2016 edition of the Global Information Technology Report (GITR), pointed out Al Mannai. But making the costs reasonable remains a challenge which was highlighted in the digital scene report issued by the Ministry of Transport and Communications in June 2016.
Though the number of digits in the phone numbers in Qatar was increased from seven to eight in 2010 by implementing the Qatar National Numbering Plan, CRA does intend to increase the number of digits for the time being, revealed Al Mannai.
The Qatar Domains Registry, which was launched by CRA to promote competition and innovation in the market, has so far licensed 17 local and international companies to offer domains registry services to the public. The number of domains registered through these companies has reached 22,000 so far, and this hike in Qatari domains indicates a wider presence of Qatar in the World Wide Web, said Al Mannai.
Al Mannai further added that Qatar is among the first countries in the world to be able to offer domain names in Arabic ( قطر .) similar to (.com); to represent Qatar’s Arabic language online identity.
CRA has received 1305 complaints on telecommunication service provides in Qatar during the period between January to November 2016 and 85% of them have been resolved, informed Al Mannai. The Authority received 3000 inquiries from the public within the same time period.
Statistics show that most of the complaints against mobile service providers were about bills, service interruption, network coverage, and value added services, whereas complaints against fixed phone service providers were on the delay in the installation or removal of the service.
The Radio Spectrum management department of CRA issues various licenses including temporary and permanent licenses as well as approval on 270 commercial activities using radio communications and 18480 approvals on custom clearance on radio equipment and Telecommunications Terminal Equipment imported for the country through land, sea and air ports.
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