The ‎ Communications Regulatory Authority (CRA) is the Communications Regulator in the state of Qatar established by virtue of Emiri Decree (42) in 2014. The CRA regulates the Telecommunications and Information Technology sector, postal services, access to digital media and spectrum. The CRA encourages and supports an open and competitive Information & Communications Technology (ICT) sector that provides advanced, innovative, and reliable communications services. Balancing the rights of consumers with the needs of service providers is at the heart of everything the CRA does.

ictQATAR to Enhance Consumer Protection

ictQATAR is enhancing its consumer affairs function by creating a Consumer Protection Department within the Regulatory Authority.

 
The Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology (ictQATAR), the country’s independent telecommunications regulatory authority and technology policy body, is enhancing its consumer affairs function by creating a Consumer Protection Department within the Regulatory Authority. The Department  is tasked with ensuring that telecoms consumers are heard and made aware of  their rights, as well as service provider obligations in respect of telecommunications products and services. The Consumer Protection Department  will establish a   dedicated call center to handle telecoms customer inquiries  and complaints. The department  will also conduct programs to increase the awareness   of consumer rights.
 
In regulating Qatar’s telecommunications markets,  ictQATAR balances the interests of licensed service providers with the rights of the consumers.  Some consumers may feel as though their voices are not being heard. The new Consumer Protection Department will work to enhance the existing consumer complaints process at ictQATAR, communicate  directly with consumers about their rights and responsibilities, and will share a variety of quality of service reports and pricing references.
 
The Consumer Protection call center will utilize a  ticketing system to record  and track  complaints or inquiries, allowing consumers to follow-up and track the progress of their complaints or inquiries easily and efficiently. Consumers are still directed to try to resolve any issues directly with their service provider in the first instance before contacting ictQATAR’s Consumer Protection call center. 
 
In addition to the call center, the Consumer Protection Department will publish regular reports on the quality of services provided by licensed telecommunications operators, including network quality, signal strength and consumer relations.  ictQATAR will continue  monitoring the pricing of services  provided to ensure there are no anti-competitive practices that could harm the rights of the consumer. 
 
ictQATAR fully expects the quality of telecoms services in the country to continue to improve in the coming years. The government is working closely with the licensed operators to ensure that they meet a high level of quality of services offered and advertised. At the same time, the government ,  along with the private sector, is  working to improve the telecommunications infrastructure in the country, including the building of a National Broadband Network and launching a high-tech satellite program. These efforts will help make Qatar one of the most connected nations in the world with consumers  benefitting  directly. 
 
 The Consumer Protection Department will conduct regular education,  awareness and outreach campaigns to assist consumers to  better understand their rights, and  also providing consumers with  useful information so they can make informed decisions. ictQATAR will also conduct regular market surveys and research to obtain direct feedback from consumers on customer satisfaction and in determining consumer detriment.
 
ictQATAR’s Consumer Protection Department will develop policies or take relevant action where it is deemed necessary in continuing its customer complaints initiative.