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For Qatari residents: Do you prefer a summer or winter World Cup 2022?

ICT key to Qatar

Written by  Author |   Wed, 12 March 2014 12:12

Qatar leads the Arab region in Network Readiness as well as Innovation indices according to the World Economic Forum report. These achievements were made possible through major steps Qatar has taken in developing its ICT sector. As part of its National Development Strategy, the Supreme Council of Information & Communication Technology (ictQATAR) has initiated a broad assessment and analysis of investment opportunities in Qatar.

Established in 2004 as Qatar´s ICT policy and regulatory body,  ictQATAR supports Qatar´s ambitious vision to achieve social and political change while advancing global competitiveness. ictQATAR's Regulatory Authority is shaping Qatar's telecommunications market by balancing the rights of consumers with the needs of service providers. One of the major goals of this regulatory body is ensuring that competition thrives in Qatar, bringing benefits to businesses and individuals across the country.

The tangible benefits are now available in the form of 68 distinct opportunities in Qatar who have an interest in the ICT sector with the major areas of focus including e-commerce, digital content, cyber security, and e-payments.Yet, the climate for ICT progress in Qatar is expected to improve further with the implementation of the Electronic Commerce and Transactions Law.

Qatar's ICT sector is actually made up of two sub-sectors: Information Technology (IT) and Communication.

ICT grows 17% annually
The ICT market in Qatar continues to skyrocket, with the latest data showing that it has grown at an average rate of 17 percent annually from 2006 to 2011 and by 21% in 2011 in comparison to 2010 reaching approximately $4.25 billion (QR15.5 billion).  The ICT market is expected to reach approximately $6.77 billion (24.7 billion) by 2016. The IT component of the market is also projected to grow at a healthy rate of 15% annually, while the more mature communications sector has a 6% annual growth rate forecast.

This anticipated growth is triggered by two key factors; first by increased levels of digitization across all economic sectors, and second due to the completion of large-scale national infrastructure projects like the Hamad International Airport, Qatar Rail Network, the new Doha Port and many projects related to FIFA World Cup 2022.

ICT Development Strategy
ictQATAR, as part of its Industry Development Initiatives, has embarked on developing an ICT Development Strategy.  The strategy has identified 68 prioritized ICT Investment Opportunitiesin Qatar in the next three to five years. The Industry Development Division of ictQATAR, mandated with promoting these opportunities, is well placed to educate and share its in-depth knowledge of these opportunities with all interested stakeholders.

The guiding force in this ongoing effort to advance the digital agenda remains Qatar's five-year National ICT Plan 2015, an aggressive $1.7 billion (QAR 6.2 billion) initiative with five clear, measurable goals:
• Double the ICT sector's contribution to GDP to $3 billion
• Double the ICT workforce to 40,000
• Achieve ubiquitous high-speed broadband access for households and businesses, with 95 percent coverage
• Achieve mass ICT and Internet adoption (90 percent) by all segments of society
• Achieve wide accessibility and effectiveness of all key government services, with a target of 160 online services

Telecommunications market liberalized
On the other hand, the ongoing telecommunications market liberalization has resulted in healthy competition that helps local businesses as well as individual consumers enjoy benefits such as lower prices and a greater variety of products and services with user-friendly terms and conditions. ictQATAR has advanced its goals by improving connectivity, boosting human capacity, fostering economic development, enhancing public service delivery and advancing societal benefits.
Actually, Qatar's total mobile subscriber base has breached the 3 million mark, leading to a mobile penetration rate of around 170 percent.

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October / 10 / 2014
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