The Middle Eastern state of Qatar has bold plans in place to overhaul its communications infrastructure with a massive fibre buildout, as part of the country’s Vision 2030 project which aims to transform the country through investment in advanced technologies into a knowledge-based society.
Ahmed Al-Sulaiti, CTO of Qatar National Broadband Company (Q.NBN), tells us about the progress his team has been making.
What progress has QNBN made so far with its deployment?
As one of the many pilot projects, more than 4,000 units in one of the major Real Estate Development projects in Qatar-Barwa City are now connected with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) infrastructure delivered by Qatar National Broadband Network Company (Q.NBN).
Q.NBN has recently signed milestone agreements with operators in Qatar. The first agreement was signed with Qatar Telecom (Qtel), and builds on the relationship and cooperation established between Q.NBN and Qtel last year.
Under this new agreement, Qtel will supply Q.NBN with duct network access and access to other passive telecommunications infrastructure over the next 20 years.
Another agreement has been signed with Vodafone, and is the first such wholesale agreement to enable a licensed telecom operator to use Q.NBN's network to deliver telecom services to customers. As such it is an important step towards establishing Q.NBN's commercial offering in Qatar.
Work on the infrastructure is scheduled to kick-off in July, and we aim to have maximum fibre coverage by 2015.
What key services will the network be used to deliver?
Q.NBN will focus solely on the deployment of network infrastructure, providing equal and open access to operators to offer choice for the end-user and efficiently leverage existing and new infrastructure in Qatar.
What impact will the network have on Qatar’s role in the MEA region’s ICT industry?
Qatar National Broadband Network Company (Q.NBN) is a shareholding company wholly owned by the government, with a mandate to enable accessible high-speed communications with the right cutting edge technology platform across Qatar.
Q.NBN, one of the first government initiatives of its kind in the region, reflects Qatar’s Vision 2030 to transform the country through investment in advanced technologies into a knowledge-based society and make Qatar the best connected country in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and one of the best connected in the world.
Through its visionary and collaborative approach to the market, Q.NBN will help to empower the nation with broadband fibre access to citizens and businesses alike in line with the Qatar ICT Strategy 2015. Q.NBN serves the wider digitisation agenda of the country.
The next generation fibre optics network which is the alternative to copper will become exponentially faster, bringing community and enterprise benefits of enhanced delivery of services, cost savings, increased competitiveness and improved sustainability.