Vodafone Qatar yesterday said it will be the first in the region to make 5G smartphones available to its customers.
The company will open pre-orders for a limited number of the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G phones from May 14. The announcement was made at Galeries Lafayette Doha, Vodafone Qatar’s exclusive partner for the smartphone’s pre-order and collection phases.
Sheikh Hamad Abdulla al-Thani, Vodafone Qatar’s CEO, handed over the first locally available Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G to Adel Ali Bin Ali, chairman and president of Ali Bin Ali Holding that operates Galeries Lafayette Doha, in the presence of  Nabeel Ali bin Ali, vice-chairman and EVP of the Group.
Intertec Group, the sole distributor of Xiaomi in Qatar, was represented by its managing director Abdulla Khalifa al-Subaey and divisional manager Asraf N K. 
The Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G is powered by the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 Mobile Platform featuring the Snapdragon X50 5G modem with integrated transceiver and Qualcomm Technologies’ RF Front-End solution, ushering in a new decade of revolutionary mobile experiences. The smartphone’s elegant black exterior is coupled with its unique slide function for quick-fire selfies and videos.
With each purchase of the Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G priced at QR3,999, customers will get a Galeries Lafayette Doha gift voucher worth QR1,500. In addition, customers who sign up to Vodafone Red Me and above postpaid plan will get several benefits including free valet parking for 12 months.
Pre-orders will be taken on the first floor of Galeries Lafayette Doha until stocks last, from 10am to 3pm and from 7.30pm to 1am. The Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G will be on display and Vodafone staff will be on hand to answer any questions.
“Since the launch of our 5G network less than a year ago, we have been the region’s 5G pioneer and are driving 5G forward. We’re delighted that people in Qatar will be among the first in the world to enjoy the 5G experience on a 5G smartphone. We’re proud of our partnership with Galeries Lafayette and Intertec to launch the cutting-edge Xiaomi Mi MIX 3 5G,” said Sheikh Hamad.
Adel Ali Bin Ali added, “As a brand, Galeries Lafayette is a trendsetter and all about exclusivity. It is a great opportunity for Galeries Lafayette Doha to co-operate with Vodafone Qatar in unveiling this landmark upgrade in mobile network technology in the country. We are glad that Galeries Lafayette Doha is the place where, for the first time in Qatar and in the region, mobile phones with this latest technology is being made available to the public. We commit to keep this pioneering spirit alive and introduce many firsts for the people of Qatar.”   
Since switching on its 5G network in August last year and receiving the spectrum licence to operate 5G commercially from the Communications Regulatory Authority in January this year, Vodafone Qatar has deployed 5G in dozens of locations across the country, including Al Waab, Abu Hamour, Al Aziziya, Al Mamoura, Al Rayyan, Katara - the Cultural Village, Salwa Road, Souq Waqif and Umm Salal Mohamed, the company said in a statement.
The company has also marked several other milestones. Recently, Vodafone Qatar made 5G technology commercially available to its customers with the launch of Vodafone GigaHome, the latest innovation in home Internet solutions. Last month, it made the first live local and international 5G calls using a 5G handset in the region.
The company also announced that it had entered into a strategic agreement with Huawei to significantly expand and enhance its entire wireless network infrastructure, including a large-scale 5G technology rollout.
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