The oil-rich state of Qatar has confirmed that it will be building a Fibre-to-the-Home (FTTH) infrastructure that will cover 95 per cent of Qatari homes and 100 per cent of businesses by 2015.
The announcement was made by the newly-formed Qatar National Broadband Network Company (Q.NBN) at the country’s annual technology show QitCOM. Sheikh Jassim al-Thani, Minister of Business and Trade for Qatar, is Q.NBN’s board chairman.
“The establishment of Qatar National Broadband Network Company with the mandate to build a nationwide high-speed fibre optics network is crucial to the development of business, economic growth, innovation and enhanced services to all citizens and residents,” said Sheikh Jassim. “It should transform the way we live and work. And I am confident that we will receive the utmost cooperation possible from all parties concerned to achieve the network rollout as planned.”
Q.NBN is structured as a private shareholding company 100 per cent owned by the State of Qatar, with Mohamed Ali al-Mannai named as its CEO. The new FTTH network is expected to play a pivotal role in Qatar National Vision 2030 and Qatar’s National ICT Plan 2015.
In making such a massive commitment to fibre networks, Qatar is following in the footsteps of other countries in the Middle East such as the United Arab Emirates, which has already finished a city-wide FTTH network in Abu Dhabi, and is in the middle of building one in Dubai.
With Amazon and Google launching smart home initiatives, have the telcos missed out on their chance to cash in on this market?
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