Qatari telecoms group Qtel has inked a commercial deal with VoIP services provider Skype to bring the latter’s software-based IP services to users of WiMAX-based mobile broadband services in Jordan and the Philippines. Under the terms of the deal, Qtel’s mobile broadband unit Wi-Tribe will promote Skype and its related products over Wi-Tribe networks in both countries. The move is being supported by a promotion under which Skype and Wi-Tribe intend to offer Skype credit vouchers for customers in both countries, enabling users to make free calls to landlines and mobile phones over Skype using the Wi-Tribe mobile broadband network.
Qtel is reportedly the first Middle East-based operator to reach such an agreement with Skype, and Nasser Marafih, CEO of the Qatari group, added that discussions were ongoing to roll out the VoIP service to its other markets. The Qtel group operates in 17 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia, with more than 68 million subscribers, mostly on cellular networks.