In Qatar, ictQATAR (Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology) is the government agency regulating telecommunication.
Qatar has a modern telecommunication system centred in Doha. Tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and UAE; submarine cable to Bahrain and UAE; satellite earth stations – two Intelsat (one Atlantic Ocean and one Indian Ocean) and one Arabsat. Callers can call Qatar using submarine cable, satellite or VoIP (Skype/ Internet calling). However, Qtel has interfered with VoIP systems in the past, and Skype's website has been blocked before. Following complaints from individuals, the website has been unblocked and Paltalk has previously been blocked.
Direct-dial telephone service is available to most parts of Europe, the Middle East and the United States. In 2009, there were 298,100 mainline phones and 2.329 million mobile phones in use nationwide. Vodafone Qatar, in partnership with the Qatar Foundation, received the second public mobile networks and services licence in Qatar on 28 June 2008, and switched on their mobile network on 1 March 2009.
Radio transmissions include 12 hours per day of English-language service. A French-language service was instituted in 1985. As of 1998, there were six AM and five FM radio stations. In 2001, there was one television station. Broadcasts are mostly in Arabic. In 1997, there were 268 radios and 273 television sets per 1,000 population. Al Jazeera (“The Island”) is a television network based in Doha, Qatar. Al Jazeera initially launched as an Arabic news and current affairs satellite TV channel of the same name, but has since expanded into a network of several speciality TV channels.
Qtel’s ISP branch, Internet Qatar, uses SmartFilter to block websites they deem inappropriate to Qatari interests and morality. As of 2009, there were 563,800 internet users.
Telephones - main lines in use :
Telephones - mobile cellular :
2.329 million (2009)
Telephone system :
general assessment: modern system centered in Doha
domestic: combined fixed and mobile-cellular telephone subscribership exceeds 300 telephones per 100 persons
international: country code - 974; landing point for the Fibre-Optic Link Around the Globe (FLAG) submarine cable network that provides links to Asia, Middle East, Europe, and the US; tropospheric scatter to Bahrain; microwave radio relay to Saudi Arabia and the UAE; satellite earth stations - 2 Intelsat (1 Atlantic Ocean and 1 Indian Ocean) and 1 Arabsat (2009)
Broadcast media :
TV and radio broadcast media are state controlled; home of the satellite TV channel Al Jazeera, which was originally owned and financed by the Qatari Government; Al Jazeera claims editorial independence in broadcasting; transmissions of several international broadcasters are accessible on FM in Doha (2007)
Internet country code :
Internet hosts :
Internet users :