BARCELONA, Spain — Feb. 17, 2010 — Microsoft Corp. and Qatar Telecom (Qtel) announced today the signing of a broad strategic alliance to bring together integrated cloud-based services, software applications, mobile services and devices over Qtel’s converged network. The alliance aims to expand Qtel’s service portfolio, helping redefine the digital work style and lifestyle of their subscribers. The announcement was made at Mobile World Congress 2010.
The alliance is designed to enable both companies to bring together their respective assets and collective strengths to offer a range of products and services that help drive productivity while enabling customers to be more agile in their everyday technology needs. It will also look to deliver a number of new digital entertainment experiences for consumers to enjoy in the home and on the go.
Dr. Nasser Marafih, chief executive officer of Qtel, said Qtel and Microsoft would collaborate to deliver truly integrated and innovative communications services to business and consumer markets.
“This is an important alliance that will deliver world-leading services and applications from Microsoft over Qtel’s world-class networks to make a real difference in people’s lives — all made available through a seamless one-click, one-touch user experience,” Marafih said. “Qtel’s efforts will add a distinct element of mobility and connectivity to enrich the overall experience for people, to make the technology truly come alive.
“For businesses, Qtel will deliver unified communications offerings — a combination of telephony, e-mail, mobility, conferencing, collaboration and tools like ‘presence’ — to fuel a sense of real possibility and potential across the region.”
The companies plan for the first products to be introduced in the market by mid-2010.
Austen Mulinder, corporate vice president for the Communications Sector at Microsoft, said that this alliance provides both companies with a framework to continually collaborate, create and innovate, bringing new value-added services to both consumers and businesses.
“Together we’re building a road map to deliver rich, connected experiences,” Mulinder said. “Spanning TV, PC and mobile devices, these new services will bring differentiation for Qtel and deliver compelling new scenarios for consumers and businesses.”
Under the alliance, Qtel and Microsoft are planning to engage in several work streams including joint sales and marketing, solutions collaboration, and corporate citizenship initiatives. Both companies will collaborate on the development of emerging technologies to create compelling innovative solutions for Qtel customers.
In its first phase, Qtel and Microsoft plan to run mobile e-learning pilot projects in Kuwait, Qatar and Oman aimed at providing students and teachers with the ability to easily communicate, collaborate and access various educational services, using solutions including Windows® Phone and the Windows Live platform.
Other services contemplated under this alliance include the delivery of value-added services across the PC, phone, TV and gaming with the goal of bringing consumers closer to experiencing seamless digital entertainment experiences across the many screens in their lives.
With firm roots as the leading communications provider in Qatar, The Qtel Group is a fast growing, global, integrated communications group with three business lines — consumer wireless, consumer broadband and corporate managed services. The Group is committed to expansion in line with its strategic vision to be among the world’s top 20 telecommunications companies by 2020. Over the past four years, The Qtel Group has built a successful track record of acquisitions hence expanding its geographic footprint from 1 to 17 countries within the Middle East, North Africa, Asian Subcontinent and South-East Asia, connecting more than 53 million customers.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
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