25 January 2023

CRA's Technical Affairs Department Director to QNA: 2828 TB, 43 Million Minutes Average Daily Usage of Data, Voice Calls during World Cup

  • QNA-Ali-Al-Suwaidi-25012023

Doha, January 25 (QNA) - Technical Affairs Department Director at Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) Ali Al Suwaidi revealed that the average daily data usage during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 reached 2828 terabytes, with an average download speed of 276 Mbps on the 5G network, and an average upload speed of 15 Mbps, pointing out that the average volume of voice calls made during that period amounted to about 43 million minutes per day with a success rate of 99.8%.
In an interview with Qatar News Agency (QNA) Al Suwaidi said the CRA recorded unprecedented figures during the World Cup in the field of frequency spectrum management, and it issued more than 25,000 authorizations for radio applications and equipment. In addition, more than 20,000 radio equipment has undergone spectrum testing procedures and obtained the required tag, which enabled those licensees to use them at the tournament's official venues, he added.
He pointed out that the Authority has allocated more than 3,700 frequencies to all parties, including an exclusive frequency band for the assistive listening system so that people with special needs can enjoy the atmosphere of the matches from inside all the World Cup stadiums along with other frequencies dedicated to football technology and innovation, which played a crucial role in managing matches and analyzing their progress, noting that among these technologies came semi-automatic offside technology to help identify cases of offside, video assistant referee (VAR) technology, goal line technology, direct player and ball tracking technology, and wireless communication technology between referees.
Al Suwaidi stressed the CRA's keenness to support the country's efforts and contribute, within its powers, to the success of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, explaining that two years before the start of the tournament the Authority published the frequency spectrum plan for the tournament, taking into account all the frequency spectrum requirements required for a wide range of modern wireless applications, in addition to the systems and applications actually used in the country by a number of national sectors to ensure that all stakeholders are able to operate the various applications, radio equipment and broadcast systems as required without interruption due to any radio interference.
Al Suwaidi confirmed during his interview with QNA, that no cases of radio interference affecting any of the operations of the FIFA were recorded during the tournament period, pointing out that the Authority relied on the latest systems and technologies to monitor the frequency spectrum and deployed specialized technical teams during all matches, equipped with the latest systems to help verify the source of radio interference.
Regarding the most prominent features of joint cooperation with telecom companies, he replied that the Authority has updated the registration procedures for obtaining a prepaid SIM card, in cooperation with the two telecommunications companies, Ooredoo Qatar and Vodafone Qatar, to ensure an improvement in the experience of consumers of mobile communications services while maintaining regulatory requirements, revealing that about 665,500 mobile phone SIM cards have been registered following these procedures using the "Hayya" card, which was used as an identification document for the applicant. He pointed out that about 117,000 of those SIM cards were recorded by fans (remotely), relying on digital tools and artificial intelligence (AI) technology to verify identity digitally.
He said that the Authority has allocated nearly 3 million mobile phone numbers to the two telecommunications companies, and about 40 thousand fixed lines to be used by visitors and tournament organizers to meet the expected needs during that period, amidst the Authority's keenness to allow accelerating the process of settling communications services complaints in the best way that meets the needs of visitors to the State of Qatar. It was agreed with the two telecommunications companies to adopt special procedures (the fast track) to receive complaints from visitors during the tournament, he added.
As for the communications infrastructure and the extent of its role in supporting the tournament, he pointed out that the State of Qatar possesses a high-level communications infrastructure, represented by a fiber-optic network that covers about 100% of homes, and mobile communications networks in which the percentage of population coverage of the fourth generation technology (4G) reached nearly 100%, and the percentage of population coverage of the 5th generation network reached approximately 96%.
Al Suwaidi also noted that the CRA has been keen over the years to ensure the development of the communications infrastructure with its mobile and fixed networks at the highest levels by developing the necessary regulatory tools, granting the necessary licenses to telecommunications service providers, and defining the necessary obligations on them, in addition to monitoring their compliance with these obligations in order to ensure that consumers in the State of Qatar receive advanced and high-quality telecommunications services.
The Authority issued its approval during the years 2019-2022 on about 29,000 applications that support the development of the communications infrastructure in the State of Qatar, and in Dec. 2021 it provided each telecom company with additional frequency spectrum, with a bandwidth of up to 1000MHz, with the aim of developing the 5th generation network and ensuring an improvement in the experience of consumers of mobile communications services during the tournament, said Al Suwaidi during the interview.
In his response to QNA's question about whether the CRA had an additional role in supporting the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, Al Suwaidi confirmed that the Authority has registered all Qatari Internet domains related to the tournament, such as the domain qatar2022.qa, and has restricted the registration of all similar Qatari domains related to the rights of the World Cup in order to avoid any confusion or unauthorized use.
CRA's Technical Affairs Department Director Ali Al Suwaidi said at the end of his interview with QNA that according to the indicators, consumers received high-quality mobile telecommunications services during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022, thanking the service providers for their investments in strengthening the telecommunications infrastructure in the country, and their keenness to adopt the use of the latest technologies, which contributed to providing high-quality mobile communications services to consumers. (QNA)


General, Qatar
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