By Andy Sambidge
Qatar telecom major says company will bear financial loss as humanitarian gesture.
Qatar telecom giant Qtel has announced that it will continue to provide an 80 percent discount for all international calls made to Palestine throughout February.
The original reduction, which was announced on Dec. 31, 2008, was made as a gesture of solidarity as the people of Gaza came under attack.
One month on, as the process of rebuilding begins, Qtel has decided to hold the reduced tariff in place to ensure that people continue to feel that they can remain connected with friends and family.
The reduction, which will now run until February 28, applies to all calls made to Palestine from landline, mobile phone (HALA and Shahry), Q-Card, Dawli Card and payphones.
Adel Al Mutawa, executive director of Group Communications, Qtel, said: "We have decided that it is important that this connection be maintained throughout February, as people continue to want to speak to their friends and relatives on a regular basis, to ensure that are still safe and well."
Qtel said although the reduction pushed the cost of each call below the operational charge to the company, it was prepared to bear the financial loss as part of its support for the regional community during a period of crisis.