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50% of Qatar to have FTTH access by 2012.

DOHA COME 2012 and 50 percent of Qatar will have access to Qatar Telecom's (Qtel) fibre-to-thehome' (FTTH) technology, a senior company official has said.

"We are investing QR600 million in the FTTH programme and have identified high priority areas in Doha and Al Khor which will have this facility in the next two years, Qtel Chief Executive Officer Nasser Marafih told Qatar Tribune on Tuesday.

The FTTH system will deliver Internet speeds of up to 100Mbps along with advanced services such as high definition- TV, video conferencing and entertainment on demand.

"In phase one, we will be offering this service to the areas identified by our survey team and to the remaining areas of the country in later phases, Marafih said.

During the trial phase, Qtel and Huawei had jointly tested a new FTTH network in 2009, which provided ultra high-speed connectivity to houses in Mesaieed and West Bay Lagoon.

According to the Qtel CEO, this is the largest infrastructure project of its kind ever carried out by Qtel, and is a key strand of Qatar's broadband strategy, which aims to drive the development of a knowledge-based economy through the deployment of some of the world's most advanced network technology.

"The new fibre network will offer a host of benefits to the people of Qatar and to the educational, commercial and governmental sectors," Marafih added.

Commenting on the benefits of the FTTH programme, Marfih said that with advanced bandwidth capacity, the FTTH will support new business applications and advanced enterprise software seamlessly, enabling companies to continue to upgrade with ease to more advanced software.

Small businesses will benefit particularly from some of the fastest Internet speeds in the region, he said.

Earlier at a function, Qtel formalised an agreement with Huawei that will see both the companies working together on the ambitious programme.

The agreement was signed by Marafih on behalf of Qtel and by Zha Jun, President, Network Products, on behalf of Huawei, in the presence of the Chinese Ambassador to Qatar, HE Yue Xiaoyong.

"We want to ensure that Qatar becomes one of the best-connected countries not just in the region, but in the world, and the advanced fibre network will play a key role in helping us achieve that goal," he said after signing the pact.

The pact between Qtel and Huawei will be supported by a joint innovation centre in Qatar, which will conduct original research in the field of communication services.

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Publication:Qatar Tribune (Doha, Qatar)
Date:Sep 29, 2010
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