This week the Qatari Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA), part of the Ministry of Information & Communications Technology (ictQATAR), has launched three public consultations on:
- construction procedures and standards of cellular mobile base stations and towers;
- mobile network site sharing; and
- definitions of relevant retail/wholesale telecoms markets.
The first consultation document explains the procedures and standards required to be followed by licensed network and service providers for constructing base stations/towers. Stakeholders and interested parties are invited to comment by 8 September 2014.
Also due by 8 September, comments are invited on the CRA’s ‘Mobile Site Sharing Instruction’ – deemed essential to meet national network coverage and quality of service needs – which sets out the details for mandatory site sharing of all existing and proposed new mobile sites.
Regarding the consultation on retail and wholesale market definitions, the CRA seeks the industry’s feedback on its list of definition (based on a document completed on 25 June 2014). The CRA noted that it is shifting regulation focus from retail to the wholesale side as a necessary move towards lighter forms of regulations, giving ground for innovation, whilst on the other hand establishing sufficient ex-ante regulation at the wholesale level to tackle potential competition problems. The CRA added that the first step to achieve these objectives is the review of the list of relevant markets, which will lead to a decrease in the number of regulated markets. Closing date for comments on the initial document is 15 September 2014, to be followed by a secondary consultation.