|Headquarters||Kuwait City, Doha, Kuwait, Qatar|
|Area served||Kuwait, Qatar, Maldives|
|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 (Formerly Wataniya) is a brand name of a telecommunications provider. Ooredoo has grown rapidly through acquisitions in Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, Maldives, Algeria, Palestinian territories and Bosnia and Herzegovina (merger of HT eronet and BH Telecom). 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 Qatar branch'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.
Ooredoo was commercially launched in 1999 in Kuwait as the first privately owned telecommunications operator in Kuwait. In March 2007, Qatar Telecom (Qtel) acquired 51% of Wataniya Telecom shares from Kuwait Projects Company Holding KSC (KIPCO) group. Qtel originally made the offer to all other shareholders of Wataniya Telecom Kuwait on 4 September 2012. As a result of the tender offer, Qtel will be increasing its shareholding in Wataniya Telecom Kuwait from 52.5% to 92.1%. Its name was changed from Wataniya to Ooredoo.
Ooredoo has been a driving force in increasing the mobile market penetration in Kuwait (over 80%).
Qatar branch (formerly Qtel)
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.
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.
- MBA Skool.com: QTel
- "Oman sets up ICT regulator, to end Qtel monopoly", Telecompaper Africa/Asia November 8, 2006
- (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.
- "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
- Stenden University of Qatar: Communications retrieved May 4, 2013
- Qatar Speed Test
- Ooredoo Announces 4G LTE Commercial Launch for April | Marhaba Qatar's Premier Information Guide