By Neeraj Gangal
Telecom co may be fixed-line services provider for Qatar's leading projects.
Vodafone Qatar may soon be the exclusive fixed-line provider in two of the country’s leading real-estate development projects once it has finalised its license application, according to a report.Grahame Maher, Vodafone Qatar’s chief executive officer, said he had talks with some real estate developers regarding this matter, Qatar’s daily The Peninsula reported.
Asked if he had discussions with Qatari Diar on its Lusail Development Project and the United Development Company’s (UDC) new residential towers at The Pearl-Qatar, Maher hinted “it has been lobbied… but nothing has been finalised yet.”
He said they were now finalising having their application for a fixed line license approved from ictQatar, the daily added. He said they wanted to do it last year, but “the IPO subscription got in the middle of that… so now we are still finalising things.”
Lusail is an all-new coastal city under construction north of Doha. It will cover 35km² and has a projected value of around US $5.5 billion. It is a multi-district, multiphase project with marinas, a corniche, themed residential areas, commercial districts, amenities and entertainment facilities. According to the master-developer, Qatari Diar, around 200,000 people will eventually live there.
The Pearl Qatar is a 4 million m² artificial island located off the coast of Doha and connected to it by road. Once complete, the island will boast 20km of sandy beaches.
The Peninsula reported that William Fagan, ictQatar’s executive director, Regulatory Authority, said they that have announced their intention to award the second fixed line license to Vodafone Qatar last year and picked the company from two other bidders, PCCW Limited (Pacific Century CyberWorks) from Hong Kong and France Télécom.
According to the ictQatar website, it will take a few months to form the licensee company, which will include Qatar Foundation, Vodafone and some other parties.
“The process is going to take some months to complete. We do expect to issue the license still before the end of the year. The license will indicate what the obligations are,” said Fagan, The Peninsula reported.
There was supposed to be a deal between both for 3G operation in UAE. Anybody knows what happened to that?