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Monday, August 2, 2021

UN report: Qatar has priciest internet, phone services in GCC

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Qatari Riyals

Omar Chatriwala

Residents in Qatar pay some of the highest rates in the Gulf for telecom services like phone and internet, according to a new study released this month from the International Telecommunication Union, a United Nations agency.

But because the country has one of the highest average incomes in the world, it still fared well in the Measuring the Information Society 2013, which tracks the cost and affordability of ICT services in about 160 countries.

According to the study, Qatar led the Middle East in the terms of ICT development last year, with a global ranking of 31st. It was followed close by the UAE (33rd), and then Bahrain (39th), Saudi Arabia (50th) and Lebanon (52nd).

But according to the raw data, the cost of ICT services remains high, relative to the rest of the GCC. Qatar Tribune reports:

“The price of a local text message is $0.03 in Oman, $0.05 in the UAE, $0.07 in Saudi Arabia, $0.09 in Bahrain and $0.11 in Qatar. The price of each minute from a mobile to a landline is $0.08 in the UAE, $0.12 in Bahrain, $0.14 in Oman and $0.15 in Saudi Arabia and Qatar…

The monthly subscription for a broadband landline is $25.97 in Oman, $26.60 in Bahrain, $39.73 in Saudi Arabia, $40.57 in the UAE and $54.95 in Qatar.”

According to the report, Qatar’s rates are high in terms of purchasing power parity (PPP), which takes into account the buying power of local currency.

But it added that costs remain a fraction of average income. For that reason, the report ranked Qatar favorably in terms of fixed-broadband prices, which are dropping universally, and mobile broadband prices, which are typically expensive in the developing world.

However, the study does not take into account that incomes in Qatar vary widely, with the average figure being pulled up largely due to steep salary increases given to nationals in the public sector and many locals in the private sector in 2011.

Here’s the full report:

Thoughts?

Credit: Photo by the roof anarchist

14 COMMENTS

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Moey Shawash
7 years ago

This report is wrong, data on mobile both on Etisalat & Du in the UAE is twice the charge of both Ooredoo & Vodafone. Even 4G service is a bit cheaper there, but with consumption limitation. This report I’m afraid is not correct and has false info.

dubious
dubious
7 years ago
Reply to  Moey Shawash

A quick browse of Batelco’s, Etisalat’s and Ooredoo’s websites would suggest that the used costs are suspect or out of date.

A price-for-price comparison is also not completely representative either. Internet here is still thankfully unmetered (one would hope so for the price!) while countries like Bahrain that have much cheaper base prices also have miniscule data caps.

I’d also say that Qatar’s fiber offering is pretty good value for the 10 people that have been connected.

wee_johnnie
wee_johnnie
7 years ago

Unfortunately though, the ones that have to pay the most and highest percentage of their income are the low paid labourers and house staff trying to keep in touch with their families back home.

DavidRSS8
DavidRSS8
7 years ago

And yet it also has some of the worst internet and phone services in the GCC . . . Go figure

greg
greg
7 years ago
Reply to  DavidRSS8

it is called, ‘having the monopoly’…e.g. no competition

DickDePilot
DickDePilot
7 years ago

It took a UN report to figure that out!?

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  DickDePilot

Funny, isn’t it? There was also a story here about study or survey that found that most people here, Qatari and expat alike, prefer to have a job rather than run their own business 😉

DickDePilot
DickDePilot
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Yep, go to work, collect a salary and leave all of the crap involved in running a business to someone else. As an ex-pat it really wouldn’t be my business so I think I would be less inclined anyway. But what has that got to do with this report? Have looked at it like you’d look at an item in a Damien Hirst exhibition, interesting but not quite understanding what it’s about 😉

Abdulrahman
Abdulrahman
7 years ago
Reply to  DickDePilot

lol I meant that we often see stories here about these reports and surveys , which probably cost quite a bit of money, that simply confirm things we already knew; Qataris prefer government jobs; Qatar has high fatal car accidents rate; etc.

DickDePilot
DickDePilot
7 years ago
Reply to  Abdulrahman

Ah, I see now. Yes, completely agree. A lot of money paid to someone who will simply state the obvious! lol

MIMH
MIMH
7 years ago

Well with oredoo and vodaphone being majority owned by the government what do you expect, real competition?

It’s a cash cow for the government.

KK
KK
7 years ago
Reply to  MIMH

It is an indirect tax.

Guest
Guest
7 years ago

to be honest.. a lot of it seems to be driven by the regulator. I know people in who have repeatedly wanted to make prices cheaper, but have had tariffs denied due to needing to keep margins higher for competition to survive.. it probably works both ways too.

Bert Da Expert
Bert Da Expert
7 years ago

to be honest.. a lot of it seems to be driven by the regulator. I know people in who have repeatedly wanted to make prices cheaper, but have had tariffs denied due to needing to keep margins higher for competition to survive.. it probably works both ways too. we all lose out it seems

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