Ooredoo switches on LTE in Qatar

Qatari consumers can now begin enjoying 4G services, as the country’s incumbent operator Ooredoo announced the launch of its LTE network. Ooredoo’s 4G service will initially be available via mifi and dongle devices, and the operator is currently working on making 4G available on smartphones in Qatar.

The carrier, formerly known as Qtel, has used 800 MHz and 2,600 MHz spectrum bands for its LTE network and said its LTE speeds are “three-to-six times faster” than the speeds offered to customers on its existing 3G network.

The LTE launch follows a year of trials, in which hundreds of customers have been testing the network, the firm said. It added that it has used their feedback to optimise the user experience.

Ooredoo plans to roll out the service gradually, and the network will initially be switched on in the capital city Doha, and in the Sealine district. The operator plans to add more towers and increase coverage each month. By the end of 2014, Ooredoo expects all inhabited areas of Qatar to be covered by its LTE network, and the firm is even making sure that highways and major road connections are on the network, to allow Qatari’s to use internet services while driving.

The Qatari government has lofty ambitions for its telecoms sector has outlined its intent to become one of the best-connected countries in the world by 2030. Ooredoo said the launch of its 4G service is an important step to reaching that national target.

The LTE MENA conference is taking place on the 13th-14th May 2013 at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel, Dubai, UAE. Click here to find out more about the event.

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