Browsing 'internet' News

Ahmed Naazim/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Mobile data speeds of up to 800Mbps could become a reality in Qatar following the launch of a new 4.5G Pro network, Ooredoo has announced.

The telecom provider appears to be one of the first operators in the world to roll out 4.5G.

Many other carriers, including in the US, are also racing to offer much faster internet.

Jan Smith/Flickr

Souq Waqif

In a statement this week while at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Ooredoo said the technology will boost mobile data speeds in “some of the busiest areas of Doha.”

That includes “cultural, business and tourist hubs of Doha such as the Doha Corniche, Katara, West Bay area and The Pearl,” it added.

800 Mpbs would be a considerable improvement. The current fastest speeds offered by Ooredoo are 325 Mbps on 4G+, according to its website.

However, only a limited number of consumers have access to such speeds. Most people use the 4G network, which runs at about only 12Mbps.

Hardware support

The 4.5G rollout follows successful testing of the network in December.

At the time, Ooredoo Qatar CEO Waleed Al Sayed said “The current joint achievement is a milestone, and puts us on the evolutionary path toward launching 5G networks in the future.”

Mobile Internet Device

Pixabay

Photo for illustrative purposes only

Ooredoo and partner Nokia had also pledged to offer speeds as high as 1 Gbps by early 2017.

Officials now say this will be “made available later this year.”

Phones that can actually support a 4.5 network will also go on sale sometime in 2017, Ooredoo said.

Fixed line speed

Ooredoo also recently introduced households in Qatar to some of the fastest internet speeds in the world.

Last year, it rolled out 1Gbps fiber service, a huge boost from the 300 Mbps it offered previously. The new speed would allow a user to download a two-hour HD movie in two minutes.

Chapendra/Flickr

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

However, the service remains pricey, costing some QR1,900/month ($522).

Are you excited about 4.5G? Thoughts?

QPO's Mannequin Challenge video.

Video still

QPO\’s Mannequin Challenge video.

This month, many Qatar residents have been embracing the Mannequin Challenge, a new global internet trend that involves recording yourself frozen in mid-action.

Locally, several individuals, schools, sports teams, businesses and other organizations have all shared themselves partaking in the challenge.

Here are five of the most memorable videos:

1. Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra

In this beautifully-shot video, the Qatar Philharmonic Orchestra (QPO) is seen frozen in their seats while Qatari artist Dana Al Fardan’s song “My Eyes” plays in the background.

The production was the result of a collaboration between QPO, DNA Records, ILoveQatar.net, Austrian filmmaker and producer Alex Klim, and others.

Speaking to Doha News, ILQ co-founder Khalifa Saleh Al Haroon said the team shot this video in only one take, because the QPO only have five free minutes before rehearsal.

ILQ had been preparing for the shoot for three days, however.

“We joined the mannequin challenge in a way that shows off Qatar’s direction towards culture, supporting new talent, and setting new standards,” Al Haroon added.

2. Qatar Olympic football team

In this clip, 20 Olympic football players freeze in the middle of what appears to be a gym workout.

Stop are stopped in the middle of lifting weights, while others are paused doing crunches or working on the elliptical machine.

3. Marsa Malaz Kempinski

Here, hotel employees and staff take the challenge at the Kempinski’s Cafe Murano.

Two customers pause mid-greeting, while a chef and waiters are shown poised to pour hot beverages into guests’ cups.

The clip, like most other #MannequinChallenge videos, is accompanied by a rendition of hip-hop duo Rae Sremmurd’s “Black Beatles.”

4. Redbull/College of the North Atlantic-Qatar

A busy campus freezes for about 25 seconds in this challenge, where students pose mid-selfie, perch on trees and hold a yoga pose indefinitely.

This clip ends of course with someone opening a Red Bull.

5. Jamid Box

Finally, one more workout video. Here, members of a Qatar gym are seen frozen in several challenging positions.

Some are doing a headstand, while others are lifting exceptionally heavy weights, or climbing opposite a wall.

Bonus:

This one was a reader submission – construction workers having a bit of fun trying out the challenge:

Which challenge videos have you been enjoying? Thoughts?

AAE-1 undersea internet cable

TIME dot Com

AAE-1 undersea internet cable

One of the world’s longest underwater internet cables has landed at Qatar’s Simaisma Beach, paving the way for faster online streaming, voice calls and other services.

State telecom provider Ooredoo Qatar is one partner in a consortium of 16 companies behind the construction of the 25,000km Asia-Africa-Europe-1 (AAE-1) cable.

Simaisma Beach

Ooredoo Qatar

Simaisma Beach

When it launches later this year, residents can expect a boost in data speeds, Ooredoo Qatar’s CEO Waleed Al-Sayed pledged in a statement:

“The AAE-1 cable will provide people in Qatar with access to new, high-speed global routing, and faster, more reliable bandwidth.

As part of our vision to continually enhance the Ooredoo Supernet, we are investing in major internet infrastructure that will enable Qatar to become one of the best-connected countries.”

The AAE-1 will connect major internet hubs in 18 countries across three continents, including in Qatar, Hong Kong, Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Thailand, France, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

An Ooredoo spokesperson told Doha News that the company is now in the integration phase, connecting the cable to the Al-Kheesa Cable Landing Station (CLS) in Al-Daayen.

Second cable in the works

However, is not the only new undersea cable coming up in the region.

Last month, Oman (which will also benefit from AAE-1) announced the landing of a separate cable that is expected to speed up internet around the region.

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

NEC

Photo for illustrative purposes only.

Construction on the 20,000km Southeast-Middle East-Western Europe 5 (SEA-ME-WE 5) began in 2014 and is expected to be completed by year-end.

Ooredoo Qatar is also a partner on that cable’s development, but a spokesperson said that SEA-ME-WE 5 has not yet landed here.

Internet-hungry

Telecom providers have been working at a frantic pace to strengthen the reliability and speed of internet connections in the Gulf.

Less than a decade ago, the region was far more vulnerable to outages when the few existing cable networks around were damaged.

In 2008 for example, users across the Gulf were knocked offline after several high-speed internet underwater cables became damaged in three separate instances over the period of two weeks.

And only last month, Ooredoo’s internet went down across Qatar for a few hours, a problem that the provider blamed on an “issue with an international link.”

AAE-1 undersea internet cable

Omantel

AAE-1 undersea internet cable

In its statement this week, Ooredoo said the AAE-1 would “provide additional protection and diversity to the world’s heavily-congested cable systems, ensuring that companies and individuals suffer less from bottlenecks or disruption caused by cable breaks.”

The new cables also aim to boost data speeds, gaining plaudits from analysts.

This will prove particularly helpful in Qatar, which is one of the most internet-hungry countries in the region.

Last year, a UN study found residents were more connected to the internet than almost any other country in the world, with 98 percent of households online.

Thoughts?