CRA: Demand for spectrum licences increases by 145%
April 17 2017 11:23 PM
Mohamed Ali al-Mannai, president, CRA.

The Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) met full and diverse range radio communication spectrum needs for Qatar as it issued a total of 4,059 spectrum licences in 2016, up by 145% from 1,654 licences in 2015. The number of frequencies assigned also increased significantly to 2,538 (up by 117% from 1,167 in 2015). Type approval certificates issued for radio and telecommunications terminal equipment remained relatively unchanged at 1,114 (from 1,212 in 2015). 
In 2016, CRA also finalised the National Frequency Allocation Plan (NFAP) with appropriate consideration to planning of projects in sectors that are critical to Qatar’s economy. NFAP is a comprehensive frequency allocation document that provides a transparent, non-discriminatory and predictable approach to spectrum management and to reserve appropriate spectrum for future innovative technologies. It also integrates planning of new mobile broadband technologies, public protection and disaster relief measures, unmanned aircraft systems, global flight tracking, maritime safety, 
amateur radio. 
CRA also played a significant role in supporting spectrum requirements of 14 major events during the year including Commercial Bank Qatar Masters Golf Tournament, Qatar Ladies Open, HH The Emir Cup - Bowling, Cycling Tour of QATAR, Qumra Festival, Ajyal Youth Film Festival, Motocross Championship, Qatar MotoGP, SBK Superbike FIM World Championship, World Touring Car Championship, UCI Road World Championships Doha, Qatar Total Open 2016, Qatar ExxonMobil Open 2016 and Qatar National Day event. 
“There is rapidly growing demand for spectrum across the nation. Radio spectrum a fundamental, finite and valuable national resource and its careful management is critical to the smooth running not only of major global events taking place in Qatar but everything from information and communications technology and other nationally important sectors, as the effective management of this scarce resource ultimately impacts the country’s GDP,” said Mohamed Ali al-Mannai, president, CRA.
CRA received 84 spectrum interference cases and conducted 11 investigations of quality of service relating to the complaints received during 2016. Furthermore CRA conducted two routine inspections of shops selling radio and telecommunication equipment and a total of 79 violation notices were issued for using or selling equipment without valid licenses. CRA’s inspection team visited a total of 195 stores during the year, targeting popular locations for sale of communication equipment including malls, souks, commercial areas, as well as neighbourhood grocery stores.
In 2016, CRA proposal to reduce the annual licence fees for VHF Radio for small ships, and dual-band radio for hunting was approved by the Cabinet, thereby reducing the fee for the above from QR500 to 
QR100 per year.
CRA regulates import and dealings of radio and telecommunications equipment including but not limited to the sale of cellular phones and private mobile radio devices as such, CRA issued 363 import authorisation licenses and received 24,670 custom clearance applications last year. As of the beginning of the 2016 the CRA started providing authorisations for import of telecommunications and radio equipment to businesses through the Qatar government portal – 

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