Qatar ranks among the top five countries in the world when it comes to ICT usage by the government, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2014.
The Ministry of Information and Communications Technology (ictQatar) released its report for 2013-14 which showcases its accomplishments during the past year and progress across the five strategic thrusts of National ICT Plan 2015.
The report says Qatar ranks 23rd out of 148 developed and developing countries and first among Arab countries on the World Economic Forum’s 2014 Networked Readiness Index rankings, up from 28th in 2012.
Es’hailSat, Qatar Satellite Company, which received a 25-year operating licence from the government in 2013, has started to plan the design and manufacture of Es’hail 2. The satellite, scheduled to be launched by 2016, will further boost broadband delivery, television and global connectivity.
“When Qatar’s leadership began the journey to build a vibrant ICT (Information, Communication, Technology) sector that would spearhead the development of a competitive knowledge economy nearly a decade ago, it seemed impossible to imagine that our ambitious blueprint for change would one day come to fruition,” said the Minister of Information and Communications Technology H E Dr Hessa Sultan Al Jaber.
“But significant commitment and investments on the part of the government and other stakeholders have helped drive real, meaningful progress in a short period,” she added.
The telecom market in Qatar remained healthy and dynamic with revenues increasing by 11 percent from QR7.6bn in 2012 to QR8.5bn. Net profits remained stable at QR1.1bn. Mobile and fixed broadband subscriptions have also grown over the past year, with the former surging by 32 percent to 1,665,419 mobile broadband subscriptions.
International Data Corporation predicts that total ICT spending in Qatar will increase at a rate of 7.4 percent a year to QR17.1bn by 2018, while Booz and Company expects Qatar’s ICT market to grow 10 percent annually, reaching about QR24.7bn in 2016.
“Today, the ministry moves towards the completion of the aggressive five-year National ICT Plan 2015 and the rollout of National Broadband Plan, reaching its goal of creating a vibrant, self-sustaining ICT sector and reaping all economic and social benefits that come with it. It seems not only more and more possible, but almost inevitable, with continued efforts and investments on all fronts,” said the ministry.