|Area served||Maldives, Qatar|
|Key people||HE. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani (Chairman)|
|Revenue||QAR 33,851,340 (2013)|
|Total assets||QAR 97,415,655 (end 2013)|
|Total equity||QAR 32,427,332 (end 2013)|
Ooredoo (previously Qatar Telecom) a telecommunications provider in Qatar and is one of the largest public companies in the country. The company has developed to become a provider of mobile services, wireless services, wireline services, and content services, with varying market share in the domestic and international telecommunication markets and in the business (corporations and individuals) and residential markets.
The company is partly state owned, which has sometimes lead to political interventions. The company's monopoly was lifted when Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al Thani, Qatar's Emir, issued a law restructuring the ICT sector's administration and lifting Qtel's monopoly in 2006. Its competitors include Vodafone, Saudi Telecom Company, and Zain.
In the past Qtel has interfered with VoIP systems, and Skype has also been blocked before. Following complaints from individuals, the website has been unblocked; and Paltalk has been permanently blocked. While Qtel’s ISP branch, Internet Qatar, uses SmartFilter to block websites they deem inappropriate to Qatari interests and morality.
Even though Qatar telecommunication services began as early as 1949, the company was not officially established until 1987. The establishment was issued under Qatar Law No. 13 of 1987. The service in 1949 is the first telephone exchange in Doha with the capacity of 50 lines, public telephone services of 150 lines in 1953. It developed to be a National Telephony Services in 1970, operated by Qatar National Telephone Service (QVTS) while the International Services by Cable and Wireless.
The company's monopoly over Qatar telecommunication sector ended in November 2006. The Emir issued Law No. 34 of 2006 restructuring the administration of information and communication systems in Qatar and lifting Qatar Telecom's monopoly; ictQATAR was announced as the new telecoms regulator and handling any licensing matters.
In May 2011, Qatar Telecom (Qtel) became the first company in Qatar to reach internet trial speeds of 100 megabits per second.
Acquisitions and subsidiary companies
In October 2006 Qatar Telecom and Korea Telecom signed a memorandum of understanding toward the two telecommunications providers working together in Qatar on infrastructure construction and IT solution delivery for what has been coined "Ubiquitous Cities", or U-City.
In November 2006 Qatar Telecom announced an agreement to acquire a strategic stake in NavLink, a leading provider of managed data services to businesses in the Middle East. Qatar Telecom will hold an equity stake (38.2%) in the business, joining AT&T.
Towards the end of 2007, Qatar Telecom announced the launching of a new company named Wi-Tribe, a wholly owned subsidiary of Qatar Telecom. Through wi-tribe, Qtel plans to launch wireless broadband internet services across Asia and Africa. The first wi-tribe deployment was in Jordan and was launched end of Q2 2008. Further deployments in Pakistan, the largest operation for the group, were launched in July 2009. wi-tribe Philippines was made available on February 2010.
In March 2013, Qtel rebranded its operations in Qatar to the new "Ooredoo" identity, and announced plans to similarly re-brand its subsidiaries in seven other markets. The meaning behind the name is "I Want" in Arabic and the logo redesigned to use red and white colors using circular shapes. Indosat, Ooredoo subsidiary company in Indonesia in its press release stated "undecided" whether to adopt the name or keep its current name.
In July 2013, Ooredoo was awarded one of two licences to provide retail mobile communications services in Myanmar.
Satellite & cable
The country commissioned its first Doha Earth Station in 1976, second earth station in 1985, and Arabsat Satellite Earth Station commissioned in 1986. The company official website consider the satellite commissions as their milestones.
The country's telecommunication system itself is centered in Doha, using tropospheric scatter system to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and UAE; submarine cable to Bahrain and UAE; and uses satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat.
February 3, 2008 cable incident
On February 3, 2008, Qtel reported that a cable connecting Qatar to the United Arab Emirates has been damaged, causing disruptions in already damaged Middle Eastern communication networks. It became the fourth cable to be damaged that week. According to Egypt's transport ministry, there were no ships in the area. The problem is said to be related to the power system.
After a series of anonymous acts of Wikipedia vandalism and spam in December 2006, coming from the IP address of Qatar Telecom's proxy server, it was blocked from editing by a Wikipedia administrator. The block affected nearly the entire nation of Qatari Internet users, including those from news organization Al-Jazeera.
There was also a block on creating user accounts, meaning that people editing from Qtel had no way in which to edit Wikipedia at all, but eventually this condition was relaxed several hours later after the ban was widely reported across technology sites.
VoIP block and internet censorship
Ooredoo has blocked VoIP services and Skype in the past. However, they are all working now  Qtel’s ISP branch, Internet Qatar, uses SmartFilter to block websites they deem inappropriate to Qatari interests and morality.
Award and partnership
- Qatar Telecom was the partner and official telecommunications provider to the 15th Asian Games Doha 2006.
- Qtel is a winner of the 2005 Gulf Excellence Award and the 2006 Economic Award.
Ooredoo provides a range of telecommunications products including national and international, Wireline and mobile telephony. It also offers Internet and Data services, ADSL, Wi-Fi and Cable TV services. It provides fully commercial, Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) based Global IPVN. Ooredoo runs and manages the Qatar Data Centre that hosts AT&T’s first global node (AGN) in the Middle East.
Ooredoo introduced DVB-H service to the Middle East, delivering real-time “Mobile TV broadcast” that captures up to 13 channels like Al-Jazeera, CNN, and CNBC through mobile handsets. It also introduced 3G mobile Internet and video calling, as well as the triple play services. And during the 2006 Asian Games in Doha, the company launched the Asian games mobile portal, bringing entertainment and information services related to the Asian games event.
Ooredoo has also implemented TETRA, Terrestrial Trunked Radio, which is a professional mobile radio system for small to large industrial entities and organizations. The service is used in sectors such as governmental, oil and gas, mining, sports events, police, defense, security, safety, paramedic, rescue, and the private sector.
Qatar was the first country in the Middle East to introduce Digital Video Broadcasting.
Ooredoo has announced the launch of 4G LTE for first time in Qatar set for April 2013
- Ameinfo.com: Public companies in Qatar
- "Annual Report 2013" (PDF). Ooredoo. Retrieved 2014-03-06.
- ITP.net: Qtel rebrands as Ooredoo
- Official Ooredoo website: Ooredoo Launch
- MBA Skool.com: QTel
- "Oman sets up ICT regulator, to end Qtel monopoly", Telecompaper Africa/Asia November 8, 2006
- "Gigaom.com:VoIP Being Blocked in Qatar 2005", retrieved May 5, 2013
- Stenden University of Qatar: Communications retrieved May 4, 2013
- (English) Ooredoo official website: Milestone
- "Qtel First in Qatar to Reach Internet Trial Speeds of 100 Mbps for Consumers". Zawya. 2011. Retrieved 18 May 2011.
- Ooredoo Qatar
- (Indonesian) Indosat Ganti Nama Jadi Ooredoo
- "Ships did not cause Internet cable damage", Khaleej Times Online
- Ships did not cut internet cables: Egypt - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)
- 4th Undersea Cable Break: Between Qatar and UAE
- "Wikipedia Qatar ban 'temporary'". BBC News. January 2, 2007.
- SunVPN:VPN For Qatar,
- Telecompaper.com: Qtel has no plans to block VoIP services - COO
- Qatar Speed Test
- Ooredoo Announces 4G LTE Commercial Launch for April | Marhaba Qatar's Premier Information Guide