Q-tel and Telephony Services
A Guide To Setting Up A Telephone Line in Qatar, Internet Connection and More
Qtel is the national telephonic company in Qatar, but its monopoly is being slowly whittled away, starting with mobile phone services. Vodafone won both the fixed line and mobile licences in 2008, and will provide the first competition in the mobile phone sector.
Q-tel has a large number of branches: see the bottom of this post for full list. Its outlets in City Centre and Hyatt Plaza tend to be less frenetic and the staff more professional.
Qtel Telephone Numbers
Directory enquiries telephone 180.
Setting Up A Telephone Line
Go to a Qtel branch, obtain and complete an application form or print out a form from their website here. You will need a copy of your ID card or passport (long term residents will realise that the process has been made considerably easier.)
You will be given a ten digit account number and told to ring after a week's waiting. Paradoxically, you can not ring this number from a mobile phone, only a land line. Then an engineer will come, usually with five minutes notice and when you are at work.
There is a connection charge of QR 200 (correct at time of writing), but the monthly fee is quite reasonable and includes unlimited calls to other land lines. Unfortunately, you have to complete setting up your landline before setting up ADSL.
International calls have fallen in price over the last couple of years. Nevertheless, many residents still make avail of internet telephone services such as skype, which offer free computer to computer calls and cheap internet telephone calls.
Paying Your Bill
Monthly bills will be sent to your address, and can be checked online or by telephone (111). Qtel provide a call by call breakdown of your bill - useful if your daughter has a boyfriend in Australia. You can pay your bill directly at a Qtel customer service centre (probably the most painful option), through your bank account or on their website with your credit card.
Internet (also see Qatar Internet)
You have a couple of options here. If you want to use dial up you can purchase a scratch card called an Ebhar. Simply enter the user name and password and dial 166. Current charges are QR 4 an hour. Alternatively, you can dial up using 166, paying a a Qr20/month fee and a further charge of QR 2 an hour. You can also get wireless internet as part of a Mozaic package.
Qtel offers speeds of (up to) 512kbps, 1 mbs and 2 mbs. Actual speeds are lower but do seem to be slowly improving. Qtel claim you can download a form from here (it was not available when we tried) and take it complete to a Qtel service centre with a copy of your ID card.
Qtel provides wireless cable television and prices depends on packages. Some subscribers have complained that Qtel arbitrarily changes channels without warning. More recently, Qtel has started offering Mozaic TV+ as part of a bundle package of TV, wireless internet and phone (see below).
One of the newer service offered is Mozaic. For households Qatar offers Mozaic TV plus: a bundle of wireless internet (with free router), digital television and adsl based telephone. There have been some teething problems with occassional loss of tlevision signal. However, users seem mostly positive. Read our review of Qtels Moazaic TV+ for more information.
Qtel offers a Blackberry solution in conjunction with RIM. Three blackbery phones are available: BlackBerry® Pearl 8100, the BlackBerry® 8800 and the BlackBerry® Curve 8300. To obtain the Blackberry solution corportate customers should visit their account managers while other customers should visit a Qtel Customer Service Center.
If connecting is all too much hassle for you, there are internet cafes which operate at a reasonable price, and often provide skype, as well as hot spots throughout the city for those with laptops. See our Internet Cafes for more details.
Enter 123 into the keypad on your phone. Alternatively, dial 124 followed by your mobile phone number and the hash key, and your PIN upon request.
When You Leave Qatar...
You will need to obtain credit clearance from Qtel i.e. proof that you have paid all your bills.
Airport counter 44 626 827
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