Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 9 December 2019

Vodafone Qatar decides against purchase of state-owned internet provider

Qatar National Broadband Network started rolling out a fibre-optic network in Qatar in 2012, with a completion period of three years.

Vodafone Qatar said yesterday that it had decided against buying the state-owned internet provider Qatar National Broadband Network after negotiations between the two parties fell through.

“Following a due diligence and negotiation process, the parties have determined not to proceed with the transaction,” Vodafone Qatar said in a statement to the Qatar Stock Exchange.

Vodafone Qatar, an affiliate of the British telecoms operator, did not provide further details on the failure of the deal.

Qatar National Broadband Network started rolling out a fibre-optic network in Qatar in 2012, with a completion period of three years.

It had plans to rent wholesale capacity to both telecoms operators, Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo, who would then sell internet services to residential and business customers.

“The Qatar National Broadband Network was set up on the premise that it help Qatar to develop an advanced, competitive broadband market without having the two operators duplicating the same network infrastructure,” said Matthew Reed, practice leader for the Middle East and Africa at Ovum.

“However, in October Vodafone Qatar said that it had reached an initial agreement to buy Qatar Network Broadband Network, which seemed to run counter to the original concept. The reason why the deal has now fallen through, and the future of the Qatar National Broadband Network, are unclear,” Mr Reed added.

Qatar National Broadband Network was not immediately available to comment.

Vodafone Qatar ended the monopoly of state-owned Ooredoo in 2009. According to Reuters, the telco made a net loss of 53.5 million riyals (Dh53.9m) in the three months to September 30. Vodafone Qatar said that it expects to become profitable next year.

selgazzar@thenational.ae

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Updated: November 30, 2014 04:00 AM

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