Fueling Development of the Palestinian Economy: Wataniya Mobile Launches its Commercial Operations in the West Bank

November 10, 2009

RAMALLAH, West Bank, November 10 /PRNewswire/ — At a press conference
today, the Management and Board of Wataniya Mobile (WM), represented by Qatar
Telecom Q.S.C. (The Qtel Group), Wataniya Group, and the Palestine Investment
Fund (PIF), proudly announced the launch of the commercial service of
Wataniya Mobile across the West Bank. The launch of Wataniya Mobile’s network
is a significant achievement for the people of Palestine, the Palestinian
Authority, The Qtel Group and PIF.

    (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20091110/366605-a )

    (Photo: http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20091110/366605-b )

The Qtel Group delegation was represented by H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin
Mohammed Bin Saud Al Thani
, Chairman of The Qtel Group and Wataniya Group,
Sheikh Mohammed Bin Suhaim Al Thani, Deputy Chairman, and Dr. Nasser Marafih,
Chief Executive Officer of The Qtel Group. The PIF was represented by Dr.

Mohammed Mustafa, Chairman of the Board of Wataniya Mobile and PIF President.
Also attending the announcement was Tony Blair, Representative of the Middle
East Diplomatic Quartet and Dr. Mashour Abu Daqqa, Palestinian Minister of
Telecommunications and Information Technology (MTiT).

“On behalf of The Qtel Group and Wataniya, we are delighted to be here
today to commemorate this very special occasion and moment for us all,” said
H.E. Sheikh Abdullah Bin Mohammed Bin Saud Al-Thani. “The Qtel Group is
committed to the Palestinian people and to playing a key role in the economic
development of the country. The Palestinian telecommunications market has
strong prospects for growth and will contribute to the wider growth of the
economy. With the launch of Wataniya Mobile, we are delighted to be able to
provide the Palestinian people with a long-awaited choice of a new
telecommunications provider.”

On his part, Dr. Mohammad Moustafa, Chairman of the Board of Wataniya
Mobile and President of the Palestinian Investment Fund, said: “First and
foremost, we would like to thank President Mahmoud Abbas for his continuous
efforts in bringing this project to life and making it a reality. I would
also like to thank the Minister of Telecommunications Dr. Mashour Abu Daqqa
and the head of the Quartet Mr. Tony Blair for their great efforts and
support, and the people of Palestine for their patience, while we were
working on the launch of our network. This is a proud moment for the
Palestinian Investment Fund in its role as a co-founder of Wataniya Mobile in
Palestine, and we are equally proud of our partnership with The Qtel and
Wataniya Groups. Wataniya Mobile represents our country’s largest economic
project since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority. Both
shareholders have invested already $140 million in license fees and over $100
in the build-out of the network, with further investments planned
over a 10-year period. The impact of this investment on the overall economy
cannot be understated, as it will fuel economic development and create more
jobs. The launch of Wataniya Mobile not only liberalizes the
telecommunications sector in Palestine, but it also represents a major
national economic achievement, that we should all be proud of,” continued Dr.

Quartet Representative Tony Blair said: “Wataniya Mobile’s launch of
commercial operations in the West Bank is an important milestone in the
building of a prosperous and competitive Palestinian economy”. He added “the
launch of Wataniya today shows the results of determination. It shows that
Palestine is open for business and real investments can deliver results”. Mr.
Blair reaffirmed the commitment of the Quartet and the international
community to establishing an independent, sovereign and viable Palestinian

Allan Richardson, Chief Executive Officer of Wataniya Mobile, commented:
“‘Now You’re Talking” is our launch campaign. . The launch of the network
will contribute to the growth of the Palestinian economy and is necessary to
stimulate completion and provide the infrastructure and services that are key
for the development of the local economy. The company currently employs over
250 talented professionals and eventually will provide more than 2,000 direct
and indirect job opportunities for the Palestinians. Our distribution network
spans across six company-owned service centers in Ramallah, Bethlehem, Jenin,
Tulkarem, Nablus and Hebron where customers can select from a variety of
prepaid, Kalimate, postpaid, Dahab plans. In addition to the Wataniya Mobile
service centers, a well-trained West Bank dealer network has been established
to provide availability and accessibility to the company’s products and
services, including excellent and highly competitive roaming offerings. And,
most importantly, we launched a fresh message in the market, Anta Alrawi,
which builds upon the rich heritage of the Palestinian people. Share Your
Experience … Share Your Story … Start Communicating … Anta Alrawi, in
your own voice with products that are tailored to the individual needs of the
marketplace,” concluded Richardson.

About Wataniya Mobile

In September 2006, Wataniya Mobile was formed when a new license for a
second mobile telephony operator in Palestine was issued. Wataniya Mobile’s
imminent entrance into the market brings forth a choice of another mobile
provider. Moreover, and equally important, the entrance of Wataniya Mobile
brings access to new and innovative products and services, expands
employments opportunities, and further fuels the economic development of

Wataniya Mobile was formed in partnership between the Wataniya Group,
majority owned by Qatar Telecom Q.S.C. (The Qtel Group), which owns 57% of
the company, and the Palestine Investment Fund, which owns 43%. Qtel’s
international expertise, with operations in 17 countries, brings to Wataniya
Mobile and to Palestine the commitment to achieve the highest standards of
network quality and coverage for the people of Palestine. While, the
Palestinian Investment Fund (PIF) works towards building an independent,
viable and sustainable Palestinian economy and investments in strategic
sectors like telecom.

Wataniya Mobile is not an ordinary mobile telephone company. From the
beginning, we set our vision, values and mission, to be focused on delighting
the customer through innovative products and services, and by providing
exceptional customer service. This is our quest and this is our company’s
vision; we charter our path to be the communications leader of choice and a
sought-after employer. For more information, please visit:

About The Qtel Group

Based in Qatar, The Qtel Group is a diversified telecommunications group
with three business lines including consumer telephony, consumer broadband
and corporate managed services, and is committed to expansion in line with
the company’s strategic vision of becoming a global top 20 telecommunications
provider by the year 2020. Over the past three years, Qtel has expanded its
geographic footprint from 2 to 17 countries within the Middle East and Asia,
with more than 52 million customers. For more information, please visist:

About the Palestine Investment Fund (“PIF”)

PIF, is a publically owned independent Palestinian investment company,
headquartered in Ramallah. PIF works towards building an independent, viable
and sustainable Palestinian economy. It focuses on developing and investing
in strategic projects in vital sectors in Palestine. PIF is a founder and a
key shareholder of many of the leading Palestinian companies such as Wataniya
Palestine (Telecom), APIC (investments), PCSC (cement), PTIC and Grand Park
(hotels) and NAPCO (manufacturing). In addition, PIF, working with local,
regional and international partners, is developing a number of strategic
projects that will have far reaching impact on the Palestinian economy, such
as the 700 million dollarGaza gas project, a 500 million dollar mortgage
finance company, the 400 million dollar Ersal commercial center in
AlBeireh-Ramallah and the 200 million dollar Al-Reehan new planned community
in Ramallah. For more information, please visit: http://www.pif.ps

About Wataniya Group

Wataniya Telecom was commercially launched in 1999 as the first privately
owned operator in Kuwait. In March 2007, Qatar Telecom (Qtel) acquired 51% of
Wataniya Telecom shares from Kuwait Projects Company Holding KSC (KIPCO)
group. Wataniya is a customer driven company that aims to provide product and
service excellence that is leading to a real customer value. The company has
been a driving force in increasing the mobile market penetration in Kuwait
(over 80%) Wataniya Telecom has grown rapidly through acquisitions and enjoys
a remarkable expansion in MENA & ASIA. In addition to Palestine, Wataniya
today has operations in Kuwait, Maldives, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, and Algeria.

SOURCE The Qtel Group

Source: newswire

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