Browsing 'telecom' News

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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.

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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

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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.

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

Are you excited about 4.5G? Thoughts?

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Qatar residents filed over 3,500 complaints against Ooredoo and Vodafone last year, but most of them were deemed “invalid” by the country’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA).

The complaints were mostly related to billing, delays in service activation, poor network coverage, roaming charges and spam calls and texts.

Of the 3,504 complaints lodged in 2016, 2,058 were thrown out for not meeting the necessary criteria.

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The CRA said 94 percent of the remaining 1,446 complaints have been resolved, and the rest should be figured out within “the coming weeks.”

According to CRA President Mohammed Ali Al-Mannai, the body is working with telecom providers to improve communication services in Qatar.

“Soon, CRA intends to launch a new interactive complaints management system to make it more convenient for consumers to lodge and monitor complaints,” he said in a statement.

Filing a complaint

Consumers are invited to approach the CRA if they are unable to reach a solution with their telecom provider after first lodging a complaint with them.

Residents should include contact details, the complaint reference number they filed with their service provider, copies of relevant documents such as bills or receipts and other information, as detailed here.

Omar Chatriwala / Doha News

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The CRA said after receiving the necessary details, it will investigate and keep consumers updated with what’s happening.

However, it appears the body can only operate in an advisory role, following up with telecom providers on the problems raised.

It cannot get involved in any private legal disputes on behalf of consumers or force service providers to take any particular action.

Have you tried filing a complaint with the CRA? Thoughts?

Qatar firms happy with telecom services, but want more competition

A survey of businesses in Qatar has found that 91 percent are satisfied with their phone and internet services, according to the country’s Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA).

Among the other findings is that 14 percent of business customers say there is insufficient competition in the market. The CRA suggests this stems from Vodafone’s fixed-line services being unavailable in large parts of Qatar.