Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo are both obliged to rollout fully commercialised 5G services across the Qatari peninsula by the end of 2020 at the latest

Qatar’s telecoms regulator, the Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), has updated the mobile licences of Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo, in a move which will allow the pair to launch commercial 5G services across the Gulf State.

Until now, the pair had been using licences granted on a pre-commercial trial basis. Both Ooredoo and Vodafone Qatar have been allocated a 100MHz block of spectrum in the 3.5-3.8GHz range with which to launch their initial 5G services.

The pair are required to rollout fully commercialised 5G services to all densely populated areas of the country by the end of 2020, as per the terms and conditions of their spectrum allocation.

"We thank the CRA for their support and dedication to ensuring Qatar has a world class infrastructure that supports the realisation of Qatar National Vision 2030. We are committed to developing the digital system and infrastructure that will contribute to Qatar’s continued growth and prosperity in the coming years. We now look forward to connecting customers to our 5G network to enhance the quality of people’s lives and to help drive the economic growth and productivity in Qatar," said Vodafone Qatar’s CEO, Sheikh Hamad Abdulla Jassim Al Thani.

The licence took effect on the 1st January 2019 and since then Vodafone Qatar has wasted no time in laying claim to the title of being the first operator in the region to launch commercial 5G services.

Since turning on its 5G network back in August 2018, Vodafone Qatar has been providing 5G services to its first trial enterprise customer, Gulf Bridge International, in Qatar’s Science and Technology Park. Since the new licence took effect, GBI has been receiving those services on a commercial basis.

“Today is a momentous day for Vodafone and Qatar. We are proud to be one of the first operators in the world to be live with 5G commercially," Al Thani said.

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