The new infrastructure would allow significantly higher mobile internet speeds of up to 375 mbps on compatible devices.
In a statement yesterday, Vodafone said that it was the first to launch the service in Qatar and one of the first in the world.
The company’s three-band LTE Carrier Aggregation is apparently now live, but with extremely limited coverage zones at the Doha Corniche and the Qatar Science and Technology Park.
“Today with 3 band LTE, our network provides more than four times the original 4G speeds,” Ramy Boctor, chief technology officer, said in a statement.
It appears that there are no devices currently on the market in Qatar that can handle such speeds, although Vodafone said some may begin to appear toward the end of the month.
Meanwhile, Ooredoo made a similar announcement yesterday with the launch of its SuperNet, which it called “one of the most significant network evolutions in Qatar’s history.”
The provider said it was undergoing an infrastructure upgrade that would include three-band carrier aggregation, allowing speeds of up to 375 mbps when compatible devices are available.
Ooredoo offered no clear timeline for its SuperNet upgrades, but said the work would also include improvements to its fixed fiber network.
It also announced “Operation Desert,” a plan to improve coverage in desert camping areas ahead of winter.
Vodafone, meanwhile, said it would be expanding its three-band LTE Carrier Aggregation to West Bay, Katara and the Pearl in the coming months.
The move comes at a time when the provider is reporting widening quarterly losses.
At the end of last month, Vodafone blamed “extremely competitive pressure on prices” for its most recent net loss of QR99.9 million in the three months to June 30, Reuters reported.
Since it entered the market in 2009 and ended Ooredoo’s monopoly, the company has yet to make a quarterly net profit.
Ooredoo fared better in Qatar, with net half-year profit increasing 25 percent to QR1.14 billion, but the company also saw big losses in some of its overseas markets.