realizing the promise

2007 Annual Report

Supreme Council of Information & Communication Technology

Dr. Hessa Sultan Al-Jaber

Only five employees worked at ictQATAR when we opened our doors in 2005. Today, we have 180 people on our team. With tremendous cooperation from the rest of the government, we have built ictQATAR from a vision into an innovative force that improves lives and makes our country a better place to do business. In this short time, we have begun to realize the rewards of information
Introduction The Vision The Journey Profiles Organization 2 4 8 18 26

and communication technology (ICT). Qatar’s telecommunications sector now offers a second mobile provider in the marketplace. This competition will provide choice to consumers and will drive innovation in products and services while offering the public better quality, service, and value. By connecting people to government through the new e-government portal, Hukoomi, ictQATAR helps nurture democratic principles. Now people of all ages and income levels can access the same information about government policy and services any time day or night. We support the country’s ambitious education reform by helping open students’ eyes to a world of ideas and concepts. Technology allows adult learners to keep growing intellectually and professionally so their careers advance and prosper. Every day, ICT supports the economy as it expands, deepens, and diversifies, allowing Qatar to compete against economic powerhouses throughout the world. Because of technology, people with a dream and a good idea can start or expand small and medium-sized businesses, connecting securely to customers and suppliers all over the globe. In so many ways, technology lights the path to a brighter, better future for everybody who lives and works in Qatar. We have just begun our astonishing journey.
Dr. Hessa Sultan Al-Jaber
Secretary General of ictQATAR



2007 Annual Report


The Supreme Council of Information & Communication Technology (ictQATAR) connects people to the technologies that enrich their lives, drive economic development, and inspire confidence in the future. Established in 2004 as the nation’s ICT policy and regulatory body, ictQATAR’s responsibility is to support Qatar’s ambitious vision to achieve social and political change while advancing global competitiveness. Already, ICT is benefiting those who live and work in Qatar in countless ways. Children and adults learn more creatively. Businesses of all sizes are discovering new efficiencies and new markets. Government is more responsive. And transformation in healthcare is under way.

In just a few years, these accomplishments have supported Qatar’s rise to a ranking of 32nd among 127 nations in the 2007–08 Networked Readiness Index produced by the World Economic Forum and INSEAD. This ranking squarely places Qatar as a regional leader. When ictQATAR was established, His Highness the Emir invested the Council with two authorities: As the country’s independent and fair regulator, ictQATAR protects consumers and businesses from unfair practices as Qatar transitions to a competitive telecoms market. As the government body that nurtures innovative technologies to benefit those who live and work in Qatar, ictQATAR connects citizens to government and helps people of all ages and income levels become comfortable with technology so they can achieve their personal and professional goals. A strategic partnership between ictQATAR and Microsoft strengthens ICT initiatives in healthcare, education, and other sectors. ictQATAR’s accomplishments include opening the country’s telecommunications market to competition; launching an easy-to-use online portal to government information and services; raising awareness of the power of ICT through a national information campaign, “The promise of e”; and preparing for the future through the creation and adoption of a comprehensive three-year strategic plan. And ictQATAR has only begun to bring improvements to every aspect of life in Qatar. In the years ahead, an increasingly vibrant, innovative ICT sector will fuel Qatar’s economy and secure an even brighter tomorrow for Qatar’s families.



2007 Annual Report


the vision

A diverse, flexible economy that advances the welfare of everyone: this is the goal of Qatar’s National Vision. Fundamental elements of the National Vision include promoting democratic processes, safeguarding the nation’s unique environment, offering world-class healthcare to all citizens, and providing learners with the skills and knowledge to thrive in a global economy. This National Vision is an ambitious roadmap to a prosperous future where citizens will enjoy unlimited social, economic, and political opportunities. And ICT is integral to attaining all these goals. In fact, technology is supporting social and political reforms already in progress. By 2012, Qatar’s IT spending is expected to surpass that of its peers, Bahrain and Oman, recording a compound annual growth rate of 11 percent.
Source—2008 Business Monitor International



2007 Annual Report


Qatar’s long-term vision, socioeconomic development goals, and sector-specific priorities drive Qatar’s ICT strategy and master plan as outlined below.

In order to achieve this promise for all, ictQATAR approved a three-year master plan that details ICT programs and projects through 2010. All activities are framed by an environment, readiness, and usage (ERU) model. Within this framework, ICT-driven change occurs by creating the right environment through conducive market conditions, appropriate policies, and essential infrastructure—all to increase the readiness of citizens, businesses, and government. In order to ensure broad usage, ICT decision making is based on developing useful applications and sector-specific content . The ERU model has led to the creation of nine core national programs that support individual initiatives. These programs include state-of-the-art infrastructure development; capabilityEnvironment

Socioeconomic programs

Sector-specific priorities and ICT imperatives

ICT strategy

ICT master plan

Programs addressing ERU framework

1 2 3 4

Strategic thrust Framework Government services Sustained political reform Long-term economic development Equitable social development Education Health Financial services Tourism and sports Education Transport Oil and gas Manufacturing Usage Health Government Private sector Initiatives Readiness Environment Programs

building; regulatory and legal frameworks; information safety and security; societal inclusiveness; and ICT in the priority areas of education, health, government, and business.


4 5

Usage Health Government Private sector

4 5

Qatar National Vision





Sectorial ICT plan 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 State-of-the-art infrastructure Innovation and capability building Regulatory and legal framework Safety and security Inclusive society e-Education e-Health Integrated government e-Business




2007 Annual Report


the journey

Over the past year, those who live and work in Qatar have experienced the power of ICT in many ways

The Power of Choice: Telecoms Liberalization Liberalization of the telecommunications sector has been a priority for ictQATAR since the first days of the Council’s existence. And after a careful, ordered, transparent process, in 2007 ictQATAR finally ended the country’s monopoly in telecommunications products and services. The open process included consultation and expression of interest stages. A second mobile license was awarded to a Vodafone and Qatar Foundation consortium to provide mobile service to business and individual consumers. This first step in liberalizing the telecommunications industry means consumers will benefit as companies compete for their business. When the process began, 17 providers from throughout the world expressed interest in entering Qatar’s market. ictQATAR’s regulatory staff evaluated the companies to ensure they met specific technical, financial, and operational criteria before the final list of renowned providers competed against one another in an auction process. A similar process is under way for the awarding of the fixed-line license. In its role of regulator, and with a consumer protection mandate, ictQATAR is developing a full regulatory framework that includes dominance designation and conditions; interconnection and access rules; regulatory cost accounting; tariff policy; spectrum and number policies; consumer protection; and dispute resolution. Other areas that will come under its focus will be electronic transactions legislation, the application of UNCITRAL principles, domain name procedures, and e-government processes.



2007 Annual Report


Qatar’s leadership understood that competition would bring value to consumers and spur development of the advanced products and services needed to support a growing, diverse economy. Three objectives have driven Qatar’s telecommunications liberalization: Foster an efficient telecommunications sector to benefit society Create a showcase for successful sector reform Provide a sustainable business environment In three years, ictQATAR will review the state of the telecommunications Qatar boasts some of the region’s highest penetration rates in telecommunications (both fixed-line and mobile). market. At that time, we may determine that the market can sustain additional mobile and fixed-line operators and once again initiate licensing procedures.

The Power of Connected Government: Hukoomi Qatar’s leadership is dedicated to making government work effectively and efficiently for residents, citizens, and visitors. A nationwide effort is under way to integrate a customer-focused approach to every aspect of running the government in order to reduce redundancies, increase transparency, and heighten efficiency. As part of this commitment, in 2007 ictQATAR worked with Ministries and Councils to make government more responsive to the people it serves. The centerpiece of this collaboration was the launching of Hukoomi, a new, modern, online portal to Qatar’s government. Built on the success of Qatar’s former e-government site—integrated into ictQATAR in 2005—Hukoomi gives those who live and work in Qatar easy, 24-hour access to expanded government information and online services. At any time, citizens and residents do everything from paying traffic fees to hunting for a new job. Business owners can register their enterprise online and access information and services about work visas and business operating laws. And visitors to Qatar have a one-stop center for information on tourist visas, cultural events, and accommodations.

Qatar’s telecommunication transformation major milestones
Qatar Public Telecommunication Corporation is established

Qatar Public Telecommunication Corporation is renamed Qatar Telecom (Qtel)

The Information Technology and Communication Committee is established

The Supreme Council of Information & Communication Technology (ictQATAR) is formed

The Telecommunication Law is promulgated, providing the regulator the power to issue new licenses

The process is set in motion to liberalize the sector by introducing into the market new mobile and fixed-line providers A Vodafone and Qatar Foundation consortium is selected as the second licensee

A Vodafone and Qatar Foundation consortium is officially awarded license. Company is named Vodafone Qatar

Vodafone Qatar will begin offering service



2007 Annual Report


Hukoomi is a historic milestone—the first time that more than 50 entities across the government came together online. Hukoomi will help businesses improve productivity and compete in the marketplace. And it will improve convenience and satisfaction in the daily lives of everyone in Qatar.
A Sampling of Hukoomi Services
Citizens and Residents Pay traffic fees Find emergency numbers Explore government employment opportunities Find information about schools Research transportation options Look at the schedule of local cultural and sporting events Businesses Register a business online Manage commercial registration online Obtain worker visas Review business operating laws Post job openings Visitors Obtain tourist visas Research accommodations Find restaurants Discover local cultural and sporting events Learn Qatari customs and societal norms Ask a local Qatari for trip advice

challenges are not limited by national boundaries. FIRST fosters regional ties to security partners around the world in order to share up-to-date information about threats and vulnerabilities. Working with the community and public and private institutions, Q-CERT raises awareness of cyber-security threats and risks. Q-CERT’s mandate includes: Build incident response capability Create broad capabilities to monitor cyber-security developments Work with critical organizations to establish and improve risk management practices

In 2007, ictQATAR worked with the State Audit Bureau to develop online business services for launch in 2008 as a pilot program. The services will streamline the tendering process for companies and firms of all sizes seeking to do business with Qatar’s government. E-tendering and e-auctioning services will improve the tendering process, while increasing government transparency and fairness by providing all potential bidders the same information at the same time. Next year, Hukoomi is expected to add seven new innovative services. A total of 52 state-of-the-art e-government programs will be implemented over the next three years, including many online services to benefit citizens and households as well as businesses and government employees.

In 2007, Q-CERT cooperated with government agencies, schools, organizations, businesses of all sizes, and Qatar’s citizens to understand and manage cybersecurity risks. ictQATAR and Q-CERT are committed to protecting sensitive information and ensuring the safety of our children on social networking and all other sites on the Internet.

The Power of Safety: Cybersecurity Approximately 100 people representing the Arab States and other nations For Qatar, information security and the safety of young and adult Internet users is an absolute priority. To safeguard users as well as to protect government information and systems, ictQATAR in 2005 forged a partnership with Carnegie Mellon’s Software Engineering Institute (CERT Coordination Center) to establish the Qatar Computer Emergency Response Team (Q-CERT). By 2007, Q-CERT, now the nation’s center for information security, grew into a team of more than 30 professionals who brought security expertise and experience from around the world. Q-CERT passed an independent evaluation and met the requirements to become a member of the Forum of Incident Response and Security Teams (FIRST). This membership is important because information security throughout the world traveled to Doha in early 2008 to participate in the International Telecommunication Union’s Regional Workshop on Frameworks for Cybersecurity and Critical Information Infrastructure Protection. During the meeting, ictQATAR and Q-CERT conducted a cybersecurity forensics workshop for representatives from the region to discuss challenges and best practices, develop frameworks for cybersecurity, and share information on development activities. International meetings such as these are crucial because the interconnection of modern societies creates interdependencies and risks that must be managed at the national, regional, and global levels.



2007 Annual Report


The Power of Learning: e-Education and e-Literacy Qatar has made quality education a priority. It is the country’s goal to build a modern, world-class education system that allows citizens to develop their potential while respecting our society’s values. In 2007, integrated ICT technology deepened and expanded the learning experience for everyone—from children in kindergarten to professionals who want to improve their credentials. ictQATAR collaborated with the Supreme Education Council to boost student achievement, involve parents in the educational process, and open the world to students of all ages. And as people benefited from the following programs, they gained invaluable ICT experience. School Knowledge Network, a unique three-way portal connects students, parents, and teachers any time. Knowledge Network has been implemented in 37 middle and high schools. It permits three-way communication and a way for students to submit homework assignments or parents to instant message teachers to find out about coursework or upcoming tests. Global Gateway, a collaboration with the British Council, allows teachers and their students to collaborate with counterparts around the world. Whether they conduct experiments, discuss global issues, or learn firsthand how people live in other countries, the classroom experience has become more innovative and lively. Teachers at 54 schools are now trained to use Global Gateway. Model e-School, introduced in two middle schools, encourages classroom creativity and innovation. Reflecting worldwide best practices, e-learning blends with traditional classroom methods to create dynamic experiences and activities. An example is e-Schoolbag, a tablet PC for school and home that contains interactive content, digital textbooks, and other tools.

ICDL, the world’s largest purveyor of computer skills certification, provides e-literacy opportunities for adults of all skill levels. Internationally benchmarked ICDL training modules help men and women learn or enhance computing knowledge. In 2007, 3,500 independent school teachers and government employees began ICDL training. With a focus on fostering ICT use among women—especially those not working—ictQATAR signed an agreement with the Supreme Council for Family Affairs to promote e-literacy among women. e-Learning Portal, a new online multi-media tool, helps adults advance their careers or learn for the love of it. Access cards allow university students, private and public employees, and non-working adults learn valuable new skills. The cost-free e-Learning Portal gives adults access to 4,000 courses in Arabic, French, and English. The courses are accredited by renowned international bodies. In 2008, e-Portal will be available to 5,000 adults.

The Power of Wellness: e-Health A pillar of Qatar’s ambitious national agenda is commitment to providing world-class healthcare to the entire population. The healthcare sector has seen a concerted effort by government to build not only state-of-the-art infrastructure but also strong institutions and frameworks to act as catalysts in bringing the benefits of e-health services to people in Qatar. Information technology is a cornerstone of an effective and responsive healthcare delivery system. ictQATAR partners with the National Health Authority and Hamad Medical Corporation to leverage IT innovations in order to promote clinical excellence and improve medical care for all patients. In 2007, several initiatives standardizing and supporting



2007 Annual Report


healthcare services were launched as part of the development of an integrated national health information platform. This platform—including a secure electronic health record—will revolutionize how healthcare is delivered. Quick, accurate, and up-to-date medical records and information will be available at the point of care. The result will be better patient safety and healthcare quality. This is just the beginning. ictQATAR is collaborating with its healthcare partners to create advanced primary care clinical and emergency department systems. Both will improve the quality of patient care and increase clinician productivity.

Over the next three years, ictQATAR will collaborate with the private and public sectors to roll out 21 e-business initiatives to help SMEs thrive. Our plan is based on exhaustive analysis of market conditions and interaction with stakeholders across the business landscape. The initial focus is on heightening awareness of the added value of ICT to small and medium-sized enterprises. After this education phase, ictQATAR will support the provision of business resources, ICT applications, and SME development activities. Through the first phase and beyond, ictQATAR will sponsor Business Connect, a series of seminars bringing businesses and ICT development together. Business Connect seminars highlight relevant ICT information and provide a forum to share success stories. Another program fostering adoption of ICT in the business community, particularly during the first phase, is the SME e-Business Pilot. A pilot group of SMEs will be selected and will be guided through an 18-month program designed to increase e-maturity. SME leaders will participate in training and partner with other companies in order to benefit from ICT-related services. Seasoned IT coaches will facilitate the program and address concerns of business leaders.

The Power of Job Creation: Small and Medium-sized Enterprises As part of our promise to help drive economic development and inspire confidence in the future, ictQATAR works to foster a technology-friendly environment for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs). These important enterprises, employing from one to 99 people, operate across all sectors and contribute to productivity at every income level. In today’s global economy, the ability of SMEs to leverage technology is crucial. ictQATAR is helping these businesses adopt the technologies that will contribute to success—ultimately translating into new jobs, increased regional competitiveness, and deeper economic diversity. Technology allows business leaders to find new markets for goods and services and discover the most efficient suppliers wherever they are. Technology helps managers make informed decisions based on substantive facts and figures. However large or small a business, technology enhances performance, competitiveness, and revenue.

The Power of Connectivity: iPark In early 2007, ictQATAR and the Ministry of Municipality and Agricultural Affairs partnered to provide free wireless access in three parks in Doha. The Internet Parks Initiative, known as iPark, allows people to email, chat, or surf the Internet any time at Sheraton Park, Al-Bidda Park, and DahlAlhamam Park. In the first half of 2008 alone, more than 26,000 people benefited from iPark.



2007 Annual Report


Zaher shows his students the world

Students in Zaher Al Askar’s classroom at the Muhammed Bin Abdul Wahab Secondary School for Boys learn English so they are prepared to thrive in a global economy. But thanks to Global Gateway, the boys discover much more than spelling and vocabulary. ictQATAR, in partnership with the Supreme Education Council, introduced Global Gateway to independent schools. An online teaching tool that connects classrooms around the world, Global Gateway makes it possible for teachers to share ideas and best practices. Global Gateway connects students, too, allowing them to virtually cross thousands of miles to debate issues, help one another understand different worldviews, and as Zaher says, “see that knowledge has no end.” For example, Zaher is likely to write the English word for “poverty” on the blackboard and ask his boys to come up with English words for the results of poverty. Then, his students can use Global Gateway to talk virtually to boys their age in Africa about the pain of disease and war. Global Gateway also allows Zaher’s students to see photos of African families and even hear bird and animal sounds that are very different from what they know in Qatar. Zaher says these personal glimpses across the world develop his students’ characters as well as their minds. He watches them become more empathetic and compassionate as they learn. And that transformation is what knowledge is all about. “Part of being human is exploring human relationships with many different people. There is no such thing as one subject, or even many. There is only the freedom to learn, to grow.”



2007 Annual Report


Marah enjoys more time with her family

One of the great loves in Marah Al-Bustami’s life is the mind. Passionate about knowledge, how people gain it, and what they do with it, she graduated from Qatar University with a degree in information and library sciences. The other great love in Marah’s life is her family—her husband and her nearly two-year-old daughter, as well as her extended family who span the globe. Marah’s aunts, uncles, and cousins live in Jordan, London, Palestine, and Canada. Marah keeps everything close to her at the same time at iPark, one of three cost-free wireless parks in Doha created by ictQATAR and the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Agriculture. While at University, Marah used Sheraton Park to sit by the sea while studying online, sending emails to family members, and watching her daughter chase birds and play. Marah says, “With iPark, you don’t have to be cut off from the world, trapped inside at a desk, studying or working.” That’s why Marah wishes more people knew about iPark. “Businessmen are always busy. They are apart from their wives and children. People need to understand this is a way to be together.” As for Marah’s family, they will likely be spending more mornings at iPark. She intends to work for a time at a foundation or university, then return to school for an advanced degree. She knows iPark will be there to help her balance all the loves of her life.



2007 Annual Report


Mohammed’s work is done easier, faster

Mohammed Al Saee is deputy general manager at Doha Petroleum Construction Co. Ltd. (DOPET), one of the country’s leading oil and gas services providers. DOPET’s work supporting operations for the world’s most important oil companies is vital to Qatar’s economy. And Mohammed’s job is critical to DOPET. Working 10–11 hours every day, he oversees administration and a host of other areas important to DOPET. With little notice, DOPET must typically recruit 500–1,600 foreign workers for a refinery maintenance project, arrange for their entry to Qatar, and then feed and house them when they arrive. Once the project is completed, the foreign workers all have to go home. And this means hundreds of forms that must be prepared, signed, and submitted. The complexity of DOPET’s assignments is why Mohammed relies on Hukoomi. Before government services became available online, Mohammed had to send his staff to government offices to stand in long queues, sometimes just to ask a question. That process cost the company time and money. Now Hukoomi provides 24-hour access to government information and services. The government-wide portal makes it fast and easy for Mohammed to download and complete necessary visas and permits. Mohammed notes that Hukoomi does more than save companies time and money. Now drivers don’t contribute to traffic jams and air pollution. And, he says, “We conserve fuel and trees that don’t have to be cut down for paper.” In the end, Mohammed says, “The most important aspect of success in any company is people. Because of Hukoomi, DOPET can focus on people instead of paperwork.”



2007 Annual Report


Dr. Khan makes technology work for patients

From the time he was a boy, Dr. Yasir Khan has been motivated by the desire to help others and relieve suffering. Part of a family of doctors and medical professionals, he grew up in Saudi Arabia and ultimately became a pediatrician. He has worked all over the world, treating people of many races and religions. After spending the last eight years in the UK, he is back in the Middle East, currently calling Qatar home. And Dr. Kahn is part of the ictQATAR family now— as a clinical advisor for the e-Health program. He is eager to help institute change through ICT that fits his lifelong passion for making people healthier. “ictQATAR will revolutionize the way clinical care is provided in Qatar,” he says. “There will be huge benefits to patients and physicians.” Advancements in technology have revolutionized the field of medicine. It is now possible to detect diseases earlier, provide more effective and less invasive treatments, share medical records digitally, and consult with physicians thousands of miles away. “I believe what we have seen is just the tip of the iceberg. New technologies and advances will reform and modernize medicine beyond recognition in the near future,” says Dr. Kahn. With a master’s degree in software engineering, Dr. Kahn is committed to combining the best technology with the best patient care. “ICT has the power to help doctors be even more responsive to patients and bring the patients a new level of understanding and comfort.” Dr. Kahn knows firsthand that even the most noble goals— such as treating devastating diseases and helping people live longer—are achieved step by step. “The scale of human suffering around the globe was eye-opening for me, but it is amazing how a real difference can be made by small, sustained efforts.”



2007 Annual Report


Secretary General

Legal Advisor

Internal Audit

ictQATAR organization ictQATAR is structured to reflect its key functions, enabling it to best realize Qatar’s ICT vision, strategy, and master plan. The Secretary General leads ictQATAR, with a Board of Directors responsible for overseeing policy, performance, and compliance with laws and regulations.
Strategic Planning
Strategy and Policy Corporate Performance & Organization Development Institutional Relations

Communication Office
Outreach Publications

Budgeting & Financial Reporting Procurement & Contracts Billing & Invoicing General Accounting Internal IT Support

Human Capital & Administration
General Services Training & Development HR

Regulatory Authority

Government Information Management Office

ICT Development Programs

Market Development & Knowledge Management

Policy & Economic
Competition & Market Strategy Tariff Policy Licensing Policy

Policy & Program
Policy i-Gov Program Office

Policy Coordination Program Coordination Technical Team

Market Development

Dispute Resolution & Litigation Consumer Protection e-Commerce/e-Transaction Competition Law

Government IT Operations
Service Delivery Technical Operations

Policy Coordination Program Coordination Technical Team

Knowledge Management

Technical Affairs
Spectrum Management Interconnection Management/ Numbering & Internet Domain Name Administration Type Approval Quality of Service/Spectrum Monitoring

Government IT Platforms
Government Data Centre Government Network Contact Centre

Enterprise Development
Program Coordination

Infrastructure Development

Cyber Safety & Security
Qcert Government Information Security (Vacant)

Program Coordination



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