Rebecca Hawkes ©RapidTVNews | 18-09-2011

A Qatar-wide high definition (HD) internet protocol TV (IPTV) service is moving ever closer with the announcement that Qtel, Qatar’s state telecommunications provider, is now providing broadband services over fibre to 2,000 customers.

Working in collaboration with iCT Qatar, Qtel has currently laid over 1,2000km of optical fibre in the capital Doha and Umm Said, capable of connecting in excess of 60,000 homes – as part of a nationwide project begun a year ago to provide fibre to every building nationwide.

Qtel’s QR600 million fibre to the home (FTTH) project aims to give Qatar nationals and residents an opportunity to benefit from the triple play of high definition IPTV, high speed internet connectivity, and vastly improved voice quality than that provided by the existing copper network.

An array of free to air satellite channels, as well as premium channels from OSN and Abu Dhabi Sports are offered to Qtel customers via its Mosaic IPTV platform. These provide a variety of Arabic and international content, from movies to series and English Premier League football.

Qtel fibre teams are reportedly now visiting homes across Doha to complete the upgrade – with the areas of Al Waab and Al Kharatiyat currently under the spotlight, following the recent completion of technical work in West Bay Lagoon.

The scheme supports the wider Qatar National Vision 2030, which aims to enable the oil and gas-rich Gulf state to sustain its own development and provide a high standard of living for both existing generations and those to come.