Posted on May 25, 2011

THE Supreme Council for Information Technology (ictQatar) will launch Qatar’s first independent satellite ‘Ekshail’ in 2013, said ictQatar Secretary-General Dr Hessa al Jaber.

She was speaking at the opening of the QITCOM 2011, Qatar’s ICT conference and exhibition inaugurated by Minister for Business and Commerce HE Sheikh Jassim bin Abdul Aziz bin Jassim bin Hamad al Thani and HE Sheikha al Mayassa bint Hamad al Thani at the Doha Exhibitions Center on Tuesday.

Addressing hundreds of local and international ICT industry leaders participating in the three-day event, Dr al Jaber said Qatar’s independent satellite will aim at augmenting ictQatar’s other initiatives geared towards delivering an ultra high-speed Internet links at affordable rates and a reliable network covering 95 percent of the nation by 2015.

The agency’s ICT2015 strategy also calls for the expansion of investments in information technologies and services to QR6 billion over the coming five years, Dr al Jaber added.

The ictQatar chief also reiterated Qatar’s plan to build digital networks, smart cities and venues and other technology-rich features as part of its grand plans for World Cup 2022.

“The communication and information sectors in the MENA region have experienced significant growth over the past few years.

Qatar is leading the way in this progress.

Here in Qatar, mobile penetration reached more than 150%, the highest rate in the world, while Internet penetration reached 84 percent in 2010.

Our highly networked and information technology-dense nation will put all this to good use when we host the FIFA World Cup 2022,” she said.

Dr al Jaber called for the enrichment of the Arabic digital content market to further develop opportunities in the MENA region.

According to her, the Arabic-speaking population, about 5-6% of the world’s total population, is the fastest growing segment of the Internet population around the world and yet less than 1 percent of the relevant Internet content is written and produced in Arabic.

“This is unacceptable.

The MENA region represents a major market opportunity for those willing to meet it.

Just in the context of advertising and digital social media, the MENA Region is projected to grow at a rate of 20 percent over the coming five years.

Closing the content gap will mean opening up a market for digital advertising.

Right now, that market is woefully underdeveloped,” she said.

The first day of QITCOM 2011 also featured panel discussions and presentations focused on innovation and incubation, Arabic digital content and social networking in the Arab World.

Former chief evangelist of Apple and founder of Alltop.com Guy Kawasaki was among the keynote speakers.

The author of the bestselling book ‘Enchantment’ laid out the strategic steps to create new products and services by calling upon his experience with Apple, as well as his study of dozens of world-class companies.

The first major deals of QITCOM 2011 were also signed on Tuesday led by communications giant Huawei.

The company signed a memorandum of understanding with Qatar’s Al Mannai Group and also inaugurated a partnership with global contact center provider Spanco.

source: QT by AILYN AGONIA

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