Qtel hopeful on Tunisia 3G, landline licence
DOHA QATAR Telecom (Qtel), which has operations in over 17 countries, is likely to win the bid for providing 3G and fixed line services in Tunisia, Group Chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al Thani told company’s shareholders on Sunday.
“We will be presenting our bid for 3G and fixed line license in Tunisia, on Monday. We hope to win the process and receive the licenses by the end on next month,” he told the company’s annual general meeting (AGM).
Qtel has a 39.4 percent stake in Tunisiana, which is Tunisia’s first privately owned telecommunications company.
It was launched in 2002. The company provides voice and data services to over 5 million subscribers in the North African nation.
Qtel is aiming to be among the top 20 telecommunications companies in the world by 2020 through organic expansion and acquisition in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and South East Asia regions.
“We have continued to benefit from the diversification of our financial base in two ways. From our regional markets, where more than 82 percent of our revenues now come from outside our home market, and from different business sectors,” he told the gathering. On the other overseas operations, the Qtel Chairman said that in Palestine the telecom operator has secured 500,000 customers in a year.
“Currently we are establishing our stations in Gaza, and we are waiting to get the approval on using frequencies, which we anticipate to take place this year,” he said.
Regarding customer growth, the Qtel chairman said, “One of the goals we set in 2005 was to reach a customer base of 70 million by 2010, and by 2011 we have exceeded that target, with our consolidated customer numbers reaching 83.4 million.”Highlighting the importance of broadband, he said, broadband has a significant place in our plans role due to its importance in the future, with customers spending more time online. “In Qatar, during the second half of this year we will launch LTE service, which are also known as 4G mobile phones services. Trials of this technology are underway in all our operations,” he added.