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1/ meSSage from the SeCretary general 2/ Building a Solid foundation for a knowledge eConomy 6/ regul atory authorit y and infraStruCture 18/ Cultivating workforCe and market grow th in iCt 24/ Serving the puBliC 38/ ictQ atar regul atory authority finanCial Summary
ictQATAR Secretary General
Dr. Hessa Sultan Al-Jaber
For ictQATAR, the past year brought not only significant growth, but also tremendous maturity in all realms of the ICT market. Our numerous efforts to spur economic growth and competition, enhance public services, and enrich society for all reached significant milestones. Competition in the telecoms market is thriving, bringing more choice, greater quality, and enhanced services to consumers. ictQATAR continues to develop a more robust legal and regulatory framework to meet the needs of the marketplace. Qatar’s new e-commerce law was ratified this year and ictQATAR is working to develop its bylaws to help organizations and individuals gain confidence in conducting business online. And we remain committed to transparency, which is reflected in the publishing of our Regulatory Authority’s financial summary in this report. Through a combination of public and private investment, a new high-powered satellite, Es’Hail, is being built, which will serve the entire MENA region with dramatically enhanced availability and quality of communications services. ictQATAR helped establish the Qatar Satellite Company to lead numerous satellite initiatives. Other major government led infrastructure improvements, including international submarine cables, continue to improve broadband access. At the same time, we continue to work to ensure that everyone shares in the benefits of ICT through initiatives to educate all members of society on how they can use technology to enhance their social interconnectivity and professional success. We have already provided free online training courses to nearly 2,000 people and opened Mada, Qatar’s Center for Assistive Technology, to connect people with disabilities
to the technologies that can improve their lives. We have also developed a framework for implementing virtual office environments in Qatar to create new employment opportunities, benefit employers, and create a better work-life balance for employees. ictQATAR will also continue to devote considerable resources to protecting children online, and we are currently conducting a comprehensive study on how technology is affecting our youth’s lives and aspirations. But this is just the beginning. With a strong foundation in place, we have turned our sights toward the future, including the needed preparations for Qatar’s hosting of the 2022 World Cup. This year, ictQATAR led a strategic planning process that resulted in the development of our 2015 National ICT Strategy. Though our achievements have already brought numerous benefits for both individuals and organizations, we will take bold actions in the coming years. We will lead efforts to improve access to information and increase effectiveness of public services. We will also guarantee the rollout and installation of a national, affordable, high-speed broadband network. We will work toward developing an innovative and entrepreneurial market and increase the quantity of content on the Internet—including Arabic, newly digitized, and other local material. And we will enhance the digital literacy and skills of all members of society. Everyone in Qatar should feel greatly empowered by the progress we have made. I am confident we are well on our way to even more incredible advancements.
Building A Solid FoundAtion FoR A Knowledge economy
annual report 2010
in the five years since ictQatar was established as the independent regulator and driver of iCt innovation, Qatar has made enormous advances, leading to rapid economic development and improvements in government services, education, and healthcare. through numerous policies and programs ictQatar is connecting people from all sectors of society to technologies that enrich their lives and inspire confidence in Qatar’s future. Strong and compelling results validate the solid foundation ictQatar has built for an innovative and entrepreneurial iCt sector, and the continuing success of these efforts points to even greater potential for future growth and evolution.
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moBile penetration, up from
120% SinCe 2009. and a t welve-fold inCre aSe in interne t SuBSCriBerS SinCe 2001. (ictQatar
StrategiC pl an, ’09 figureS are from previouS l andSCape report)
over the past five years, investment in the iCt market by the public and private sectors has rapidly increased. In 2010, the total value of the ICT market in Qatar was $2.1 billion, and numerous market research studies indicate that ICT firms see Qatar as a potential technology hub and want to invest in the state. Qatar’s telecommunications infrastructure has swiftly expanded and evolved. The continued growth of next-generation access networks with ultrafast connectivity has made services and technology more prolific and reliable. Investment in a new high-powered communications satellite, along with a growing network of submarine cables, will further increase bandwidth and speed. market liberalization has already yielded tremendous benefits to consumers and businesses. With increased competition, prices for mobile and fixed services have dropped, but with more people using services, total revenues for the sector grew precipitously, increasing by QAR 50 million from 2009 to 2010. Revenues for mobile services alone totaled QAR 1.1 billion. government has also been an effective market driver of iCt usage and adoption. Qatar is ranked third in the world for ICT government readiness, according to the World Economic Forum’s Global Information Technology Report 2009–10. Through the enhanced sophistication and growth of many government services, especially Hukoomi, Qatar’s national e-government portal, ictQATAR has worked to foster a technology-friendly environment for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
iCt adoption by all sectors of society has increased. Market research commissioned by ictQATAR found that:
• In 2010, 89 percent of households have a computer,
compared to 71 percent in 2008; 85 percent of individuals also have a computer, compared to 54 percent in 2008
• Broadband usage has jumped from 41 percent of
households in 2008 to 70 percent for 2010
• Among government employees, more than 90
percent received computer skills and text-processing training in the past year
• 60 percent of all businesses are connected to the
Internet, and 58 percent have broadband connections
• Close to half (49 percent) of all public and private
hospitals use electronic storage for patient data the market and users have become more sophisticated. As more companies learn how to leverage technological applications to streamline their operations, Qatar’s IT software market is growing faster than any other in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Overall, 1.8 million mobile handsets were purchased in Qatar in the past year, with 30 percent in the smartphone category, costing $200 or more. Mobile penetration has also increased to 150 percent this year, up from 120 percent in 2009. Since 2001, there has been a twelve-fold increase in Internet subscribers.
annual report 2010
iCt has become more accessible and safe for everyone in Qatar. The growth of Qatar’s ICT market is also evident in the widespread access to ICT for all members of society. In the past year, ictQATAR opened Mada, the Center for Assistive Technology. Though it just opened its doors in July, Mada has already served more than 200 people, providing services and guidance to increase access for those with disabilities. The launch of the Safe Space website also provides a valuable resource to families, many of whom are concerned about the risks their children might encounter online, including cyber-bullying and inappropriate content. This website will help to enhance parents’ and teachers’ comfort level with children using the Internet.
moving toward 2015 :
The total estimated investment for the implementation of this strategy is QAR 6.2 billion over the five-year period, which includes QAR 4.3 billion of capital expenditure and QAR 1.9 billion of operational expenditure. To drive ictQATAR in realizing its vision, the National ICT Plan includes four main spheres of action: 1/ public Service delivery: Improve access and increase effectiveness of public services. Create social benefits from increasing volumes of digital information. 2/ infrastructure and environment: Guarantee the rollout and installation of a national, affordable, high-speed broadband network with public and private investment. 3/ industry development: Develop an innovative and entrepreneurial ICT market, improve the ICT skills and capabilities of the workforce, create economic benefits from increasing the quantity of content on the Internet—including Arabic, newly digitized, and other local material. 4/ literacy, Skills, and inclusion: Enhance digital literacy and skills, and improve access and usage across all sectors of society. There are 11 different programs that exist under these spheres of action, comprising 56 actual projects that will be implemented over the next five years. In the pages of this 2010 annual report, you will read about Qatar’s progress and accomplishments in several different spheres, and how the strategic plan will build on this rapid pace of development in the future.
Qatar’s Five-Year Strategic ICT Plan
One of ictQATAR’s major accomplishments this year was the adoption of an aggressive strategic plan that will set the pace and goals for progress over the next five years. A committee of public and private stakeholders representing all sectors of society collaborated in crafting the plan. Building a knowledge economy—the plan’s overarching goal—requires new ways of thinking and adoption of unconventional business models. By following this comprehensive blueprint, ictQATAR will ensure momentum and progress in building a world-class ICT market and society by reaching the goals outlined in the plan.
RegulAtoRy AuthoRity And inFRAStRuctuRe
annual report 2010
Competition in the telecommunications market is thriving in Qatar. market data indicates that growth in Qatar’s telecommunications market continues at a steady pace:
· 17 percent growth in dSl subscriptions, with a 50 percent growth
in the number of consumers subscribing to “triple play”—a combination package of broadband internet, television, and landline telephone service (Qtel report)
· Compounded annual growth rate (Cagr) of 139 percent of mobile
subscribers from 2006 to 2009 (idC)
· rapid deployment of fiber-to-the-home (ftth) lines · 39 percent increase in mobile subscriptions since 2009 · 11,000 new fixed-line subscriptions in Qatar in 2010 · By the end of June 2010, a year after it entered the market, vodafone
had garnered 20 percent of the market in terms of subscribers and 16 percent of the revenue generated from telecoms services. the continued and rapid evolution of iCt in Qatar requires policies and programs that encourage and facilitate growth through transparency and fairness. it also requires a state-of-the art communications infrastructure that enables businesses and individuals to easily implement and utilize new technologies, and sophisticated security measures to ensure that everything runs smoothly. as demand for services and bandwidth surged over the past year, ictQatar stayed ahead of the curve, implementing its legal mandate to not only meet current needs, but ensure that future ones are met.
Continuing the Era of Telecoms Competition and Choice
With the issuing of the second fixed license in Qatar to Vodafone Qatar in April 2010, ictQATAR has completed the second major phase of liberalization of its telecommunications sector. Vodafone Qatar is now able to provide fixed telephone and data services to consumers, businesses, and government as well as other services such as leased lines, international connectivity, and VSAT services. As the holder of both fixed and mobile telecommunications licenses, Vodafone will also be able to provide converged services involving both mobile and fixed networks such as fixed/mobile data packages, if it chooses to do so.
The law makes online communications and financial transactions legally enforceable, establishing protocols for digital signatures, electronic documents, and authentication of payment. By enacting this law, the protections offered to business and consumers are greatly expanded, along with ictQATAR’s regulatory mandate. The extensive law includes provisions designating ictQATAR as the agency responsible for domain name management. It is also the first electronic commerce law in the Arab region to include consumer protection provisions. In drafting the law, ictQATAR sought input from relevant government entities and businesses, and aligned its policies with international best practices from the United Nations, the European Union, and other countries and organizations to ensure consistency.
Q atar domain nameS
Promoting Growth, Transparency, and Competition
ictQATAR continues to develop a more robust legal and regulatory framework. In 2010 numerous policies were introduced to meet the needs of the marketplace.
e-CommerCe l aw
To encourage businesses and government entities to migrate more of their transactions online, an August 2010 Emiri decree enacted the Electronic Commerce and Transactions Law (e-Law).
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) approved ictQATAR’s authority to assign domain names in October. ictQATAR is also in the process of adopting a ccTLD (country code top-level domain) and second-tier domain name registration model. This system is expected to lead to reduced prices and better quality services for end users by giving them options for creating and managing their own websites. Previously, only Qtel offered these services. Opening up the market to competition often has an impact on increasing the usage of online transactions, particularly among individuals and SMEs.
annual report 2010
marke t grow th 2008 –2010
Source: Qtel Quarterly Reports and Vodafone Management Presentations
3,000,000 2,500,000 2,000,000 1,500,000 1,000,000 200,000 100,000 0 Q2 2008 Q3 2008 Q4 2008 Q1 2009 Q2 2009 Q3 2009 Q4 2009 Q1 2010 Q2 2010 mobile fixed lines internet triple play Broadband lines
Another related development is the rollout of a new domain naming system in Arabic. Once implemented, Internet domains ending in the Arabic equivalent of “.qatar” (. )قطرcan be registered in Qatar’s native Arabic language. Qatar was one of the first countries to apply for a non-Latin domain-naming system, which will extend the reach of ICT in Qatar. For businesses and individuals, Qatar domain names will be a valuable asset in distinguishing themselves in the ever-growing Internet realm, helping them connect with others locally and globally, while giving them a distinctly Qatari identification. This will also encourage the plan for Qatar to serve as a hub for Arabic content worldwide. Right now, there is a significant demand that has not been met—only 1 percent of the content available online is Arabic, even though this market represents 5 percent of the world’s population. The domains will be managed by ictQATAR through the Qatar Domains Registry, which will be launched in 2011.
r adio SpeCtrum alloCation and management
Bands of spectrum exist in layers, and it is the role of those who regulate radio spectrum to allocate frequencies so technologies and devices using radio spectrum can operate without interference. As the regulatory authority body that monitors access to spectrum, ictQATAR’s role is to carefully balance public and commercial interests in deciding allocation and assignment. To meet this goal, ictQATAR developed a proposed National Frequency Allocation Plan, and completed a public review of its policy for allocating and assigning radio spectrum in 2010. The policy will be implemented from 2011 onward, and will ensure that the following objectives are met:
• Provide a transparent, nondiscriminatory approach
to spectrum management
• Promote economic and societal benefits for all
• Ensure public safety communications needs are met • Ensure interoperability of all available
Advances in communications technology are limitless, but the available spectrum that makes some of these advances accessible is a finite resource. Radio stations, cell phone operators, broadcast networks, and aircraft control towers need separate frequencies to operate effectively. As more technologies are introduced, the demands for radio spectrum grow and must be carefully regulated.
• Support and promote innovation and competition • Reduce regulatory barriers to radio frequency access • Reserve appropriate spectrum for future innovative
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inCre aSe in moBile
SuBSCrip t ionS SinCe 2 0 0 9. (Qtel Quarterly
repor tS and voda fone m anagement preSentationS )
Cl aSS liCenSeS
ictQATAR issued two telecommunications Class Licenses in 2010. These licenses are the first of many Class Licenses that will form an important part of the telecommunications licensing regime. Under these Class Licenses, persons possessing, operating, or installing certain types of devices or telecommunications equipment will no longer have to apply to ictQATAR for a license to do so. There are no license or spectrum fees.
For both licenses, any person or entity wishing to import and sell SRDs or camel racing equipment in Qatar will still need to obtain Type Approval from ictQATAR, along with the approval for dealing in telecommunications equipment. ictQATAR is in the process of finalizing an online type approval register which will contain detailed information on all equipment type approved by ictQATAR for sale and importation. When the registry is complete, commercial importers will no longer have to apply to ictQATAR for Type Approval if they are authorized by ictQATAR to sell telecommunications equipment.
regul atory aCCounting SyStem
One Class License authorizes short-range devices (SRDs), which utilize radio transmitters to provide communications capabilities at a low radio frequency power, minimizing the chances of causing interference with other radio equipment. Examples of these types of devices include baby monitors, hearing aids, home alarm systems, garage door openers, and meter readers. ictQATAR also created a Class License for Type Approved Camel Racing Equipment, which streamlines the approval process for use, operation, and installation of the equipment. Similar to the SRD license, this license allows any person to own and use camel racing equipment without having to apply for a separate Class License. The equipment must, however, be in compliance with the terms and conditions of the Class License and operate within the authorized frequency bands.
ictQATAR published its instructions for service providers on the implementation of the Regulatory Accounting System (RAS) this year. This sets forth the system to help demonstrate service provider compliance with cost-orientation and non-discriminatory obligations for regulated services. Under the Telecommunications Law and By-Law, ictQATAR has specific objectives and powers to ensure that the prices and charges of service providers are efficiently cost based and appropriately applied to products and services offered at a wholesale or retail level.
annual report 2010
The RAS describes a set of systems, processes, policies, and procedures that enable a dominant service provider (DSP) to establish a record-keeping system to ensure that it remains in compliance—by keeping track of revenues, costs, assets, and capital employed; calculating tracing and analyzing costs in order to demonstrate compliance with cost-orientation and non-discrimination obligations.
very Small aperture terminal (vSat) liCenSing
numBering and portaBilit y
As utilization of ICT among citizens and business has grown in Qatar, so has the demand for telephone numbers. In recognition of the potential limitations this situation could create in the future, ictQATAR took swift and proactive action this year to ensure that demand for telephone numbers, both fixed and mobile, will be met for years to come. At the end of July, ictQATAR implemented a national numbering plan that included transitioning all phone numbers from seven to eight digits. By repeating the first digit of each existing number, individuals and businesses followed a simple, straightforward procedure to modify their numbers in compliance with the plan. The transition process to new numbers was successfully completed without any service disruptions. ictQATAR led the process, forming the National Numbering Committee, and collaborating with existing providers, Vodafone and Qtel, to plan and prepare for this change.
After issuing a licensing process to grant and manage additional VSAT licensees in Qatar, ictQATAR awarded licenses to three operators to provide VSAT services in Qatar in 2010. The licenses were awarded following a competitive and transparent application process, involving extensive review by ictQATAR. The companies chosen were CapRock Communications, QSAT Communications, and RigNet Qatar. VSAT technology uses a system of satellites to provide telecommunications services to closed user groups. This technology is essential for some of Qatar’s most robust industries, such as oil and gas. Many of the offshore rigs used by these companies require VSAT technology for secure communications.
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moBile and 9,000,000 fixed numBerS Cre ated By ictQatar’S new numBering pl an. ( ictQatar)
In addition, ictQATAR also conducted a comprehensive public awareness campaign to maximize public knowledge of the change, and ensure that citizens were aware of the rationale for the effort. With a projected doubling of Qatar’s population by 2015 and related economic growth, this transition was vital to ensure that the ICT needs of business and individual consumers continue to be met. The new plan created an additional 36 million mobile and 9 million fixed numbers, surpassing the highest forecasted demand for the next 20 years. In 2011, mobile and fixed number portability will be implemented in Qatar. This means phone users will be able to transfer their existing numbers to another service provider. Under the current system, consumers seeking to switch between providers Vodafone and Qtel are unable to keep their phone numbers after changing over.
diSpute reSolution fr ame work
ictQATAR has already resolved several interconnection and access disputes, disputes between service providers, and disputes between service providers and their customers. Recently, ictQATAR issued Dispute Resolution Rules to deal with complaints between service providers that do not fall within the determination process for access and interconnection disputes. The rules outline procedures for lodging and resolving service provider complaints, including the process for lodging a complaint, the evidence necessary in support of and in defense of a complaint, and the resolution process and outcomes.
ConSumer proteCtion and Compl aintShandling proCeSS
ictQATAR was the first telecommunications regulatory authority in the GCC region to include customer protection provisions in its Telecommunications Law and licenses. Since the Telecommunications Law was enacted in 2006, ictQATAR has continued to develop its consumer protection function in cooperation with Qtel and Vodafone Qatar’s initiatives in this area. ictQATAR has a legal objective and mandate to increase consumer benefits and safeguard their interests, which extend to setting rules for tariff
The Telecommunications Law, By-Law, and licenses set out processes for resolving different types of disputes that arise in the telecommunications sector.
annual report 2010
paCe of BroadBand grow th
Source: IDC Telecommunications Research 2010
Units in ‘000s
Units in ‘000s
3500 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 0 2006 2007 2008 2009 CAGR (06–09) = 139%
300,000 250,000 200,000 150,000 100,000 50,000 0 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 mobile Broadband lines Cagr (06–09) = 139% fixed Broadband lines Cagr (09–13) = 19.6%
regulation and criteria for quality of service, and monitoring the terms and conditions for service provision. ictQATAR is empowered to receive and resolve complaints and disputes between service providers and consumers when the parties cannot resolve the issues themselves. ictQATAR established a telephone hotline and email address for consumer inquiries and complaints. Generally, a service provider must try to resolve the complaints of its customers within 30 calendar days, following which a customer can contact ictQATAR if the complaint or dispute cannot be resolved. In some cases, ictQATAR has issued orders to service providers to pay refunds, replace equipment, carry out installations, correct bills and accounts, connect services within a specialized timeframe, and cease and desist from certain conduct. Any decision by ictQATAR to resolve a complaint or dispute is final and binding. Both Qtel and Vodafone Qatar have invested significant resources in improving legal compliance with consumer protection and complaint-handling requirements, as well as the quality of their customer service centers and self-service centers in Qatar. To raise consumer awareness of customer rights and service provider obligations, ictQATAR regularly issues consumer alerts and information on its website.
de termination re aChed in diSpute Be t ween Compe titorS
ictQATAR’s recent success in effectively handling enforcement and compliance disputes between telecommunications competitors is one of the clearest indications of how firmly competition regulation has taken hold. On July 22, 2010, ictQATAR resolved a dispute between competitors Vodafone and Qtel regarding Qtel’s provision of Virgin Mobile–branded services. ictQATAR issued an administrative decision on the matter that was consistent with the Telecommunications Law and international best practices. As the telecommunications regulatory authority, ictQATAR resolved the matter by addressing anti-competitive and other conduct by applying the Telecommunications Law and dispute resolution rules made under the law. This situation was the first application of the rules made under the Telecommunications Law. The decision is published on ictQATAR’s website.
expanding CommuniCationS CapaCity
In May, ictQATAR announced it had entered into a joint investment with Eutelstat to build, launch, and operate Es’Hail, a high-powered communications satellite. The satellite, which will operate in the orbital slot 25.5 degrees East, will vastly increase communications capabilities in Qatar and the Middle East and North African regions. This move represents ictQATAR’s most significant public-private partnership to date, and is the first of many planned investments in satellite technology. By making this investment, ictQATAR will be able to provide Qatar and the surrounding Middle East and North African region with drastically enhanced availability and quality of communications services, including broadband capabilities. At the same time, through providing the technology for these services, ictQATAR is developing a sustainable domestic satellite industry. Two months after finalizing their partnership, ictQATAR and Eutelstat announced they had signed a contract with Space Systems/Loral to build the satellite, which is planned for launch in early 2013.
annual report 2010
BroadBand take-up in Q atar
Source: Qtel Quarterly Reports and Vodafone Management Presentations
160,000 140,000 120,000 100,000 80,000 60,000 40,000 20,000 0 Q2 2008 Q3 2008 Q4 2008 Q1 2009 Q2 2009 Q3 2009 Q4 2009 Q1 2010 Q2 2010 total number of internet lines internet dSl internet dial-up internet vpn/mplS & dedicated access
Building Communications Infrastructure and Capacity
Qatar has experienced tremendous growth in broadband capacity over the last year with 63 percent of households connected to broadband networks with minimum speeds of 1 megabit per second. To expand on this capacity in the future, ictQATAR is developing a strategy that can utilize the best infrastructure possible and a combination of fixed and wireless technologies. A ubiquitous high-speed broadband network provides vastly increased bandwidth for managing huge data volume simultaneously and accurately. It is vital for improving and increasing the speed and flow of information. Building a first-class broadband network requires collaboration between government agencies, telecommunications providers, content providers, property developers, and consumers. To facilitate this, ictQATAR is spearheading plans to build the Qatar National Broadband Network (QNBN), and we remain committed in its role as a convener between the country’s various stakeholders.
Broadband accessibility will continue to benefit Qatar in a variety of ways:
• economic Competitiveness: Solidifies Qatar’s
status as a regional hub for ICT, enabling the country to compete for world-class events, including its recent successful bid to host the 2022 World Cup. It also stimulates investment and growth beyond the established oil and gas sectors.
• Social impact: Ensures efficient delivery of
healthcare, education, and government services.
• Smes: Changes the way industry operates, allowing
small and medium enterprises to leverage facilities and capabilities that were previously only accessible to larger companies.
• Consumers: Provides greater choice and flexibility
to individual consumers, such as “triple play” services, faster access to mobile broadband services, and enhanced availability of local and relevant online content. All of these advances further reinforce the cycle of positive development. Perhaps the greatest proof of their intended effect is the impact these efforts have had on overall usage. Despite cheaper prices for services, revenues for telecommunications providers have increased by QAR 50 million from the first quarter of 2009 to the first quarter of 2010. This indicates that the amount and type of services consumers are using have grown in tandem with increased access.
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the total numBer of ipark ServiCe uSerS. ( ictQatar)
iparkS The provision of free wireless Internet service in three parks has been so successful that ictQATAR is expanding this service to two more parks—the Corniche Al-Khur and Al-Wakrah—with planned completion in 2011. This iParks initiative is part of ictQATAR’s strong commitment to connecting citizens and residents of all backgrounds to the technologies that will enrich their lives. Currently, Rumailah, Sheraton, and Dahl Al-Hamam offer the free service. Based on market research on user levels from 2009 to 2010, the service is widely popular, with the average number of users per month for all three parks topping 10,000, and the total number of users for the entire year exceeded 100,000.
proteCting Str ategiC aSSe tS
As the national security team for ictQATAR, Q-CERT is charged with ensuring the safe development of Qatar’s telecommunications infrastructure through combating cyber crime and working to increase trust in networks. By successfully executing on these goals, Q-CERT helps to increase Internet usage among all members of society and businesses. To ensure the integrity of Qatar’s ICT infrastructure, Q-CERT took numerous actions to protect networks and individuals from denial of service attacks and other disruptions caused by botnets and malware. This team also took steps to protect users’ privacy online from risks including phishing, identity theft, and spyware. Q-CERT collaborated closely with the Cyber Safety Program on the launch of SafeSpace.qa. This team also worked to minimize the spread of the Stuxnet computer virus within Qatar. This virus, which consists of a computer worm that attacks and reprograms industrial SCADA systems, affected millions of computers worldwide, disrupting commercial operations and personal use. In Qatar, however, less than 1 percent of computers were affected.
The continued evolution of telecommunications in Qatar depends on the smooth and uninterrupted functioning of critical infrastructures. These infrastructures tend to be complex and highly interdependent systems that control power grids, oil and gas production, financial transactions, healthcare, water distribution, and government operations.
annual report 2010
StrategiC plan 2015:
the next Five yeARS
ictQATAR will remain strongly committed to encouraging and enabling the continued growth and evolution of ICT in the State of Qatar by providing a strong regulatory framework. This support generally provides a basis for attracting private investment and expertise in helping to improve the quality and extent of the ICT sector in Qatar. ictQATAR will seek to regulate barriers to market entry for companies looking to invest and will remain platform-neutral in its policies and implementation of the law, including those regarding intellectual property rights. ictQATAR will also complete its comprehensive review of the telecommunications sector to determine the state of competition in Qatar. The review, which will conclude in 2011, will determine whether additional operators would benefit consumers and the market, and what further regulatory measures, or structural changes, if any, would advance market competition.
Q atar national BroadBand ne t work
Over the next five years, ictQATAR has committed to facilitating the building of a next-generation high-speed broadband network with public and private investment. This new generation of networks will be combined with the latest optical communications technologies, which will increase the ICT infrastructure, creating more bandwidth to handle larger volumes of data. To meet this goal, ictQATAR is facilitating the creation of a fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) network, which will provide fiber connections to households and businesses. It is estimated that within five years this network will replace many of the existing copper connections with high-speed fiber connections.
cultivAting woRKFoRce And mARKet gRowth in ict
annual report 2010
ictQatar has undertaken many initiatives to spur increased iCt adoption among businesses and make it easier for all companies to comply with government regulations and procurement processes through streamlined online services. Qatar’s economy has reaped the rewards of these efforts, with broadband connectivity among businesses increasing by 20 percentage points since 2008. and the country is ranked in the top third of countries for “ease of doing business,” based on the world Bank’s index. another indication of the burgeoning iCt adoption levels throughout Qatar’s economy is the rapid increase in spending on related products and services. according to statistics from international data Corporation (idC), hardware spending on pCs, servers, and storage in Qatar increased by 23 percent since 2009, and spending on software grew by $23 million during the same time period. over the past year, ictQatar has augmented its already robust efforts to increase the level of entrepreneurship across all industries and help companies both large and small adapt to a constantly evolving iCt landscape.
it Spending in ke y vertiCal marke tS
Source: IDC Verticals Research 2009
Tourism & Sports 3% Personal & Other Services <1% Home 10% Education 3% Healthcare 1% Government 15% Professional Services 1% Finance 15%
Oil/Gas 16% Agriculture, Construction & Mining 2% Discrete Manufacturing 2% Process Manufacturing 3% Transport 2% Communications 15% Utilities 4% Retail/Wholesale 9%
Fostering an Entrepreneurial Environment
One of ictQATAR’s principal goals is to foster the development of new domestic companies by widely expanding incubation resources available to fledgling start-ups. To help grow a sustainable digital content industry in Qatar, ictQATAR’s Digital Content Incubation Center is providing entrepreneurs in this industry with expert guidance, innovative technology solutions, telecommunications services, office space, and accounting and legal services. In 2010, FahrasQatar became the first spin-off company supported by the Digital Content Incubation Center. The center will provide support to four young Qataris who won ownership rights to the company through the FahrasQatar Business Case Competition, which attracted more than 30 entries. ictQATAR developed the online business directory FahrasQatar in 2008 to provide a central forum for connecting Qatar’s businesses to customers, potential partners, investors, and relevant professional service vendors. This service provides information on points of contact and company product offerings, along with special promotional offers.
Business Connect Forums
More than 1,000 members of Qatar’s business community came together for ictQATAR’s Business Connect Forums in 2010, which included speakers from Google, Qtel, and Microsoft. The most recent forum, held in December 2010, featured a series of successful IT entrepreneurs and experts who offered their perspectives on the implications and benefits of Qatar’s new e-commerce law, enacted in April, for local and international companies. The law, which clarifies important business issues such as e-signatures, e-transactions, and online authorizations, creates tremendous opportunities for entrepreneurs to develop innovative online business models and offerings. Through case studies presented from successful e-commerce executives and panels featuring regulatory experts, a variety of examples and lessons were presented. This forum also included a seminar on cloud computing and sessions on the business offerings featured on Qatar’s National e-Learning Portal.
digitAlly open FoRum:
promoting innovation and aCCeSS
In October 2010, Qatar became the first GCC country to host a conference with Creative Commons, titled “Digitally Open: Innovation and Open Access Forum.” The event is one of a series of efforts ictQATAR has undertaken to foster a digitally open society and thriving knowledge economy in Qatar. Creative Commons is a non-profit organization that provides expertise and resources to encourage digital creativity, along with the sharing of ideas and innovation online. The group also issues licenses directly to those who want to share and protect their digital content online. These licenses can be applied to almost every realm of society, including music, science, technology, art, government, and medicine At the conference, ictQATAR brought together renowned international panelists from Google, Mozilla, Red Hat, and the Qatar Museum Authority (among others) to lead seminars on openness in the digital realms of entertainment, government, and business. Furthermore, other leaders gave talks and shared innovative approaches to creating wider access to culturally relevant content. More than 600 people attended the conference, which was also live-streamed to an even broader audience. Building on the success of the event, ictQATAR is leading efforts to establish an official Creative Commons affiliate in Qatar, working with organizations and individuals to promote greater sharing of creative works online using flexible content rights licenses. These licenses will promote the creation of original digital content in the Arab world while protecting the rights of the content creators.
An earlier forum in March centered on how information and communication technology can help businesses grow and thrive in today’s global marketplace. The seminar featured local and regional experts in technology solutions for businesses, as well as case studies from companies that have successfully leveraged ICT to realize cost savings and gain a competitive advantage. Speakers included top officials from ictQATAR, MEEZA, Ali Bin Ali Technology Solutions, Doha Sooq, and NTG Clarity Networks. These experts offered advice on how to effectively integrate affordable technologies into existing business operations and how implementing other types of technology can help transform the customer experience. ictQATAR is committed to helping businesses in Qatar realize these benefits.
Virtual Office Environment Blueprint
At the end of 2010, ictQATAR and the Ministry of Labor completed a study analyzing the feasibility of leveraging technology to work from home. Through reviewing the effectiveness of working remotely in five sectors: oil and gas, government, banking, health, and telecommunications, researchers gauged the viability of using virtual office environments (VOEs) for jobs at various levels. Their research found that there are considerable potential benefits for companies that incorporate VOEs in Qatar, including increased productivity, enhanced customer support, reduced operating costs, and wider engagement of a larger proportion of the workforce. The study also included findings indicating that both males and females are interested in VOEs and the improved work-life balance they could offer, and that companies based in Qatar recognize the benefit of incorporating VOEs into their business plans. The findings, which have been shared with and presented to many organizations, including Qatar National Bank (QNB) and RasGas, will provide a blueprint for all sectors, and include recommendations on appropriate infrastructure and necessary technology enhancements. In addition to the possible advantages of VOEs to companies and individuals, they can benefit all sectors of society by creating more equitable access to careers and advancement.
annual report 2010
StrategiC plan 2015:
the next Five yeARS
entrepreneurial SoCie t y
By 2015, ictQATAR hopes to incubate 30 new companies. To reach this goal, ictQATAR will establish funding mechanisms, including research and development grants, business networks, and ICT venture capital funds, to financially support creativity and innovation in the academic and business environments. By further institutionalizing the professional ICT community, ictQATAR will also enable networking and collaboration within the ICT environment and support its growth. Almost all large corporations, and nearly half of SMEs use government websites for information and government e-services. While this is a significant percentage, ictQATAR will seek to increase utilization significantly over the next five years.
Digital content includes everything from news to emails and from e-commerce to search engines. It is the basis for everything on the Internet. The creation of digital content is an essential foundation for an innovative ICT sector. Over the next five years, ictQATAR will create economic benefits by increasing content from the Arab world—specifically Arabic language content. Revenues from the sale of digital content are expected to more than double over the next five years in the MENA region. Qatar has a number of intrinsic advantages that will aid it in meeting this goal, including its internationally renowned media network and diverse media sector, including seven newspapers. A number of initiatives will support this overarching goal:
• A national digitization plan to digitize Qatar’s
heritage and culture, academic research, government laws and decrees, and health research.
• The creation of local and Arabic digital content
through local media, locally hosted websites, and the digitization of cultural artifacts and documents will also drive the development of the ICT industry.
• Data centers being built by the government and Qtel
will expand local hosting capabilities. These will increase competition by enabling new ISPs to enter the market in addition to Qtel and will lead to an increase in the provision of local digital content.
SeRving the puBlic
annual report 2010
the development of the existing integrated e-government program— known as i-gov—distinguishes the Qatari government as an international leader in the promotion of iCt. i-gov improves the efficiency and quality of government by providing electronic services and information to those who live and work in Qatar. By creating a robust and transparent online system for government operations and the public, ictQatar has set a swift pace for iCt adoption across all sectors of society. Services and resources offered through i-gov have improved access to information and made it more convenient for individuals and businesses to interact with government agencies. more than 300 information services and 60 transaction services are currently available online through hukoomi, Qatar’s online government portal. Businesses of all sizes can use the automated government e-tendering system, and citizens, residents, and visitors conducted 1.4 million fast, easy transactions using hukoomi. to increase government connectivity and transparency, ictQatar is in the process of rolling out a national government network—a single iCt backbone that will connect all government entities to each other through a single network connection. i-gov is in various stages of designing and implementing new services, including recruitment services and business set-up services, with 27 i-gov initiatives in progress, 10 of which were launched in 2010.
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million tr anSaCtionS uSing
hukoomi, Q atar’S online government portal ( ictQatar)
In 2010, ictQATAR launched an improved version of Hukoomi with enhanced services that are faster and more accessible for citizens, businesses, and visitors. Prior to the launch, ictQATAR conducted an extensive usability survey to identify areas for improvement. Several significant upgrades were made based on the study’s findings, including an updated design, overhaul of old content, and the addition of new points of access to increase the flexibility of delivery of government services. Some of the significant improvements made to Hukoomi include:
The goverment’s call center, which now provides 24-hour assistance to customers with requests, queries, and complaints related to the government portal, was chosen as the “Best New Call Center in the Middle East for 2010” at the INSIGHTS Middle East Call Center Awards in Dubai. Improvements were also made to Hukoomi to make it easier for various government agencies to independently modify the content of their online portals. Prior to this enhancement, they had to send the content to ictQATAR to be published online. To enhance transparency, ictQATAR implemented a content management and update policy this year. The aim of this policy is to advance the country’s e-government strategy. The new standards apply to all 48 public entities with digitized content and endorse four specific policy areas of government-wide collaboration:
• More user-friendly navigation, including search
engines and the ability to bookmark services
• Mobile applications, including Hukoomi for
• Hukoomi Facebook presence for providing feedback
and accessing information
• Integration and linkage policy for common
e-government systems and services
• Streamlined business set-up services • More efficient delivery of ID services • Information for visitors on booking hotels, securing
tickets to entertainment events, finding restaurants, cinema and theater bookings, and mobile location– based services like suggesting nearby restaurants
• Hukoomi content management policy mandating
that government entities are responsible for providing required information and maintaining up-to-date content
• Documentation and registration policy in
• ICT architecture and standards policy creating
a comprehensive blueprint for the government IT framework, infrastructure, and application standards
• Pending launch of an employment services site,
including online job postings to fill government job vacancies
annual report 2010
top five moSt utilized e-government ServiCeS
Source: Qatar’s ICT Landscape 2011, and percentages reflect usage rates among a representative survey group of household and resident respondents.
Settling Traffic Violations Settling Traffic Violations Paying Utility Bills Paying Utility Bills Applying forfor or Renewing Visas Applying or Renewing Visas Applying forfor or Renewing Health Cards Applying or Renewing Health Cards Applying forfor New Resident Permits/Renewing/Reactivating Applying New Resident Permits/Renewing/Reactivating 17% 17% 27% 27% 25% 25% 49% 49%
This resource established a common payment platform for all government entities, eliminating the need for outdated manual modes of cash payment. By allowing individuals and businesses to use debit and credit cards to pay bills and other fees related to government services and regulations, the e-Payment Platform is a cheaper and more efficient method for collecting government revenue. Instead of having to stand in long lines, it has become second nature to pay water and utility bills online, pay parking and traffic violation tickets, and check online to see the status of payments and violations. More services came online to the platform in 2010, and the following five were the most frequently used e-Government services by individuals in Qatar: 1/ Settling Traffic Violations 2/ Paying Utility Bills 3/ Applying for/Renewing Visas 4/ Applying for/Renewing Health Cards 5/ Applying for/Renewing/Reactivating New Residence Permits
ictQATAR will continue to support the Supreme Council of Health’s efforts to further digitize healthcare systems and records. Improved electronic data storage and sharing will benefit the public by enhancing healthcare through better prevention, detection, diagnosis, and treatment. Among e-Government services, applying for and renewing health cards is one of the most popular, ranking fourth in the top 10 of online services used by Qataris. Furthermore, 68 percent of private hospitals have electronic storage of patient data, and almost half of government hospitals (48 percent) offer the same. The Supreme Council of Health and the Hamad Medical Corporation have begun efforts to build a unified health records system, and 500 employees, including doctors, nurses, and therapists, have already been trained in how to use the system.
Creating a more aCCeSSiBle SoCiety
On the seventh floor of ictQATAR’s headquarters, automatic doors open more widely to accommodate visitors in wheelchairs who come to Mada, the state-of-the-art Center for Assistive Technology. But the center doesn’t just serve those in wheelchairs. It offers a range of tools, software, and services to help people with any combination of physical and learning differences to more fully interact with society. Keyboards with enlarged colored letters for the visually impaired and software that provides symbols with words to help dyslexic learners read are just a few of the tools available to meet Mada’s goal of fostering greater equality and empowerment for people with disabilities. A staff of 10, some of whom know the challenges of being disabled from firsthand experience, are available to help anyone who enters Mada find appropriate solutions to their needs. The center also offers a loan bank of cutting-edge technology items for anyone to try out at home or at work before investing in such equipment. Since opening in June 2010, Mada has already helped 200 people by assessing their needs and making recommendations. They have also trained more than 100 other individuals in identifying and using appropriate solutions for people with various disabilities.
“Using our imagination in applying these resources is very important,” according to David Banes, deputy director of Mada. “It’s about being creative in mixing and matching solutions based on each individual’s needs.” Indeed, one of Mada’s most valuable resources is the expertise of the people who work there. Banes and others play a vital role as international advocates for people with disabilities through staying on top of the newest developments in assistive technology, and serving as advocates for the development of Arabic language adaptations of these solutions. Many common adaptations, such as voice recognition software, are not available in Arabic. Over the next year, Banes expects Mada’s staff to double. As the center expands, Mada will continue to add more resources to serve a wider swath of the population. After all, almost everyone will deal with the challenge of having a disability at some point in their lives. That’s why, Banes says, it’s important for Mada’s staff to expand access to its resources and develop ongoing relationships with the people they serve. “They may come in wanting to learn something as basic as how to email, but then they come back asking how they can play games or do other more complex things,” according to Banes. “Once you open the door, they kick it down permanently.”
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free online e-le arning CourSeS offered through iCtQ atar’S national e-le arning portal. ( ictQatar)
The presence of a strong and innovative ICT sector can attract foreign investment and lead to a self-perpetuating cycle of job growth. To enhance digital literacy and skills, ictQATAR’s National e-Learning Portal offers more than 3,000 free online courses to government employees, ICT professionals, and the unemployed in a variety of fields including business, information technology, human resources, and marketing.
Qatar continues to serve as a regional leader in integrating ICT into its K–12 educational system. As of 2010, it had achieved:
• 60 percent of schools have broadband access • 100 percent of schools have PCs • Majority of teachers have had ICT training
ictQATAR will also establish a working group to implement outreach, awareness, and training initiatives, and a working group to develop a cyber safety learning program.
With access to these resources, all participants in Qatar’s economy benefit. These courses help individuals gain additional qualifications and become marketable for high-demand jobs. They also offer training for recent grads, aiding them in making the transition from school to work. Businesses also benefit—SMEs build in-house capabilities that they might not otherwise have the resources to develop. Furthermore, these enterprises also attract companies to Qatar through cultivating a highly-skilled workforce. In the past year, ictQATAR’s e-learning efforts increased significantly:
Knowledge Net (K-Net), ictQATAR’s e-learning platform, is the cornerstone of ICT adoption within Qatar’s education system. Since K-Net launched five years ago as a pilot project in eight schools, it has expanded to 37 schools and 40,000 users nationwide. Through K-Net, technology is integrated into the learning process instead of being treated as a separate goal. The system has allowed teachers to transition to virtually paperless classes. Schools have reported increased student engagement and completion of homework assignments.0 The learning management experience for teachers is enhanced by a feature that allows them to sync their lesson plans to the school’s rubric and conveniently track which learning goals their lessons are meeting. Students are also easier to manage, thanks to features that K-Net provides to keep faster learners occupied while slower ones are still completing in-class
• Almost 2,000 people completed online courses • 30 percent of state employees completed IT training • 20 percent of nurses completed IT training • 15 percent of non-IT business employees have
undergone IT training
determining Current and future trendS
More so than ever before, technology has transformed the way younger generations communicate and access information. In recognition of the tremendous influence ICT has on children and young adults, ictQATAR has commissioned a comprehensive study to understand how Qatari youth are affected by and use ICT in their daily lives. A committee of academics, researchers, policymakers, youth advocates, and young people are contributing to a groundbreaking analysis using data from 1,200 young Qataris ages 11 to 29. Through exploring how this group accesses online content and communicates with each other, the findings will provide insight into how ICT shapes their identity in relation to their peers and the world. From these findings, ictQATAR will be able to make policy recommendations on how to best harness the power of ICT to help young people realize their full potential, and develop a framework to assess the impact of ICT on youth, which can then be replicated in other Arab countries. Furthermore, the baseline information this study provides can be used in the future to provide a comparative assessment of the socioeconomic impact of ICT on this age group.
Student ConfidenCe with it taSkS
Source: Qatar’s ICT Landscape 2011
Text Processing Using Email Creating Presentations Downloading Software Using Spreadsheet Software Online Chat Installing Hardware/Software Creating Web pages Troubleshooting Software Programming
20% 32% 35% 27% 28% 50% 44% 48% 55% 54%
64% 73% 61% 64% 71% 67% 61%
89% 88% 86%
School Students University Students
assignments. K-Net continues to expand its capabilities for users. In the past year, K-Net conducted seminars for teachers and administrators on crisis management so they can continue their teaching virtually, with minimal interruptions, in the event of a national emergency that prevents students from attending school in person. The quality of this portal earned ictQATAR and the Supreme Education Council an ACN Arab Technology Award for creating the “Education Implementation of the Year.”
As the pace of technological change accelerates, educators across the world are faced with the classroom challenge of how to best integrate technology into their lessons in a way that maximizes the student’s engagement and retention of the material. Reaching this objective is more crucial than ever before, as students must become adept at utilizing and applying rapidly changing technology to be prepared for careers in an information-based economy. To ensure that Qatar’s schools are remaining ahead of the curve, 26 public and private schools have completed a pilot with the eMARQ system. This system allows them to assess their “e-maturity” by answering a number of questions about the nature and extent of ICT adoption in their schools. School leaders are asked to rank various measures of integration and curriculum content on a scale of 1 to 5. Based on the results, the assessment suggests actions a school can take to improve its scores. It even provides a tool to calculate budget estimates related to future technological needs.
Collaborating on e-Education
ictQATAR and the College of the North Atlantic-Qatar held their third annual “Exploring ICT in Education Conference,” in March, to provide a regional forum for exchanging information and ideas on the most effective ways to utilize technology as a catalyst for change and innovation in schools. More than 450 teachers and administrators from across Qatar participated in workshops and attended seminars, led by international experts in e-education. The day prior to the conference, both students and teachers participated in “Digital Star” competitions to showcase innovative ways that technology had been incorporated into their lesson plans and classroom projects.
Continuing a dialogue with teCh enthuSiaStS
As part of its goal to stay ahead of the curve on social media, ictQATAR launched Digital Qatar, a blog for technology enthusiasts. The blog is a hub of news and discussion of the latest ideas and technological advancements, and explores the boundless potential of information and communication technology. ictQATAR launched this blog in 2009 with the purpose of providing a platform for genuine thought and conversation in Qatar around everything ICT. Digital Qatar is available in both Arabic and English, and represents one of the first blogs on technology available in Arabic. The wide range of posts includes features on the impact of social media forums like Facebook and FourSquare, and insight into the impact technology has on current events, including perspectives on the role ICT developments played in Qatar’s winning its 2022 FIFA World Cup bid. This blog also provides another forum for the public to learn about the benefits of ICT for their daily lives, both personal and professional, through informative content on issues including password strength, cyber-bullying, and Creative Commons licenses. For ictQATAR, the blog is one of a host of social media outlets it leverages for engaging with the public. In fact, ictQATAR is active in 14 social media outlets—in both English and Arabic —and has built a network of more than 3,000 friends and followers on the social networking sites Facebook and Twitter. These forums provide Facebook friends and Twitter followers with real-time alerts on the latest ictQATAR news, events, and technology trends. Due to the widespread popularity of ictQATAR’s social-networking sites, their followers have become part of the greater ICT community in Qatar, often initiating their own technology-related conversations, commenting on policies, and “re-tweeting” ictQATAR tweets to their network of followers. Recently, Twitaholic named ictQATAR one of Qatar’s top 10 most popular Twitter accounts.
Convening Thought Leaders From Around the World
ictQATAR’s Connected Speaker Series brings numerous global and regional thought leaders to Qatar to share their insights on current trends and future developments in ICT, and how these will affect society and the economy. Gerd Leonhard, described by the Wall Street Journal as “one of the leading media futurists in the world,” shared his perspective on some of the most provocative issues the media industry is currently facing, including the future of content, potential opportunities for revenue generation from online content, and the biggest potential markets that exist. “Without a doubt, data is the new oil,” according to Leonhard. “Over 4 billion connected users will generate zetabytes of data, every single day, by commenting, rating, tagging, forwarding, uploading, and sharing content.” In 2010, additional speakers attracted hundreds of guests from various industries, as the issues discussed during these talks have far-reaching implications for ICT. As part of this series, the International Institute of Communications (IIC), in association with ictQATAR, organized and hosted a Digital Communications Literacy Forum in February. The forum explored issues related to the role digital literacy can play in the further evolution of the new communications environment in the Middle East, and included ideas for ways to best reach this goal while advancing economic and social objectives. During the day-long gathering, a number of international experts shared their insights on the importance of digital media literacy and its key contributions to changing how e-marketers devise their online strategies.
Dr. David Reeves, the former president and CEO of Sony Computer Entertainment Europe, told the crowd that “Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of ‘mass media.’” Speakers also offered their thoughts on a range of issues, including industry initiatives, the development of social and cultural aims, the role of formal learning in informing digital literacy, and the protection of minors and others from inappropriate material. In April, ictQATAR partnered with the Center for International and Regional Studies at the Georgetown School of Foreign Service in Qatar to host a talk on “The Future of the Internet.” This event featured Michael Nelson, an internationally known expert on next-phase computing, and a visiting professor of Internet studies in Georgetown’s Communication, Culture, and Technology Program. As the former director of Internet technology and strategy at IBM, and a trustee of the International Institute of Communication, Mr. Nelson offered unparalleled insight on the impact the Internet, and its continuing evolution, will have for content and media industries, development of government policies, and academia. According to Nelson, “we’re less than 15 percent through this transformation that’s enabled by the Internet,” and while only 15 to 20 percent of people in the world use the Internet on a regular basis, that number is projected to grow by a factor of up to 50.”
annual report 2010
StrategiC plan 2015:
the next Five yeARS
Over the next five years, i-Gov will be continuously improved with a customer-centric focus on the users of government services. It will aim to further modernize the e-services, including:
through its newly established program, Internet and Society. This program will serve as a research hub for studying Internet technology, policy, and economics. Within those broad areas, the overarching objective of the research will be to determine the most effective ways for individuals and businesses to benefit from ICT innovations. The Internet and Society program will also collaborate with similar centers around the world, including ones at Harvard, Stanford, and Oxford.
• Complete a single ICT backbone by which each
government entity will connect to all other government entities through a single network connection
• Establish a centralized government data center to
house critical computer systems and associated components for all government entities
• Institute a service-oriented next-generation
government architecture that provides a nextgeneration ICT framework for interoperability and the seamless exchange of information and data between all government entities and the users of their services
iCt and SoCie t y
Precise and accurate information is essential to high-quality medical care and related health services. By providing access to health records and advanced diagnostic systems, the Supreme Council of Health will significantly improve the quality and delivery of healthcare for all members of society. One key project to meet this goal is the rollout of an electronic health record system that is available to health providers and all citizens through Smart Cards, which are linked to Qatari IDs.
To enhance the social and economic development of Qatar, and ensure that all members of society can benefit from technological progress, ictQATAR will undertake numerous initiatives through its ICT and Society programs. Skill development programs to enhance digital literacy across the entire population and further develop ICT skills within its workforce will be one of the linchpins of ictQATAR’s work. To enhance digital literacy and skills and increase usage levels, ictQATAR will develop an accessibility policy and guidelines to ensure that all e-services are accessible to all constituents, particularly individuals with special needs. As Qatar continues to advance in the digital age, ictQATAR will also closely follow the impact of the Internet and its governance on the progress of society
To increase adoption and access, ictQATAR has worked with the Supreme Education Council to build on its efforts to empower educators with the required skills, knowledge, and resources to facilitate 21st-century learning. At the K–12 level, ICT education will be expanded to enhance and integrate ICT into the curriculum of classrooms in all public and private schools, improving students’ 21st-century skills and piquing their interest in pursuing ICT careers. At the university level, initiatives to be implemented will improve the skills of students and support the marketability of ICT graduates by developing intensive ICT educational programs, on-the-job training, internship programs, and international exchange programs.
helping Children Stay Safe online
With the recent launch of Safe Space, a website for teachers, parents, and families, ictQATAR has created a vital information resource dedicated to protecting youth from online risks, including cyber-bullying, inappropriate content, and solicitations. This is significant because Qatari parents cite safety as their top concern related to their children using the Internet. At the same time, the vast amount of information and interaction that the Internet provides enriches the engagement in learning and the online literacy of young people. By providing clear and comprehensive guidance and tips, Safe Space helps families strike a balance between helping their children develop essential digital skills that can boost their academic success—and intellectual curiosity—and minimize their exposure to online risks. ictQATAR launched Safe Space with a public awareness campaign with the motto “Keep Them Safe, Keep Them Curious,” featured in advertisements at movie theaters and on radio, television, and billboards, to widely promote the benefits and resources Safe Space offers to all members of society.
The website provides adults and children with tips on how to handle a range of scenarios and issues children might confront online, whether they are using chat rooms, downloading emails with attachments, or surfing the web. Both parents and teachers can take cyber safety self-assessment quizzes, and find information about how to talk to children about cyber safety. To further supplement their knowledge, ictQATAR has provided workshops to train teachers about these issues. The public campaign is meeting strong public demand, as more schools have requested workshops to learn more about these issues, and parents have asked schools to provide them with more information on how to keep their children safe. To ensure that everyone can access this information, ictQATAR is creating a hotline for families and educators to call to report online threats on children and receive guidance on how to handle individual situations.
ictqAtAR RegulAtoRy AuthoRity FinAnciAl SummARy
for the period from april 1St, 2009, to marCh 31St, 2010
annual report 2010
regul atory authorit y revenueS
Final part of license opportunity fee for second mobile license Technical license and telecommunications authorization fees 1% License fee for fixed and mobile telecommunications service providers (July 2009 - December 2009)
3,086,537,011 19,842,328 22,496,036
12.5% Industry fee for fixed and mobile telecommunications service providers (July 2009 - December 2009) 82,920,795 total regulatory authority revenues 3,211,796,170
regul atory authorit y expenSeS
OPERATING EXPENSES Professional Services Administration Expenses Payroll Expenses total operating expenses CAPITAL EXPENDITURES Regulatory Authority Projects Other Capital Expenditures total Capital expenditures total regulatory authority expenses & expenditures 9,007,921 62,236 9,070,157 26,541,389 456,983 2,546,122 14,468,127 17,471,232
ye arly CompariSon
2009–2010* Payroll and Allowances Operating Expenditure Capital Expenditure Total Expenditures 14,468,127 12,011,026 62,236 26,541,389
2008–2009** 15,151,749 17,546,197 36,700 32,734,646
2007–2008** 8,775,507ححححح 26,722,499ححححح 3,780ححححح 35,501,786ححححح
* Fiscal Year 2009–2010 was audited and verified by Deloitte & Touche. ** Fiscal Years 2005–2009 were audited and verified by the State Audit Bureau and PricewaterhouseCoopers.
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