The Hous­ing Bur­den

Is Qatar los­ing the re­alty battle?

Qatar Today - - FRONT PAGE - By Ayswarya Murthy

For the first time since the Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Reg­u­la­tory Author­ity (CRA) was es­tab­lished as an in­de­pen­dent en­tity last year, Qatar To­day is in­vited to take a look in­side and meet its public face.

An Emiri De­cree in April 2014 gave CRA the in­de­pen­dence to con­tinue to man­age the coun­try's tele­com af­fairs, out­side the di­rect over­sight of the Min­istry of In­for­ma­tion Tech­nol­ogy. Amel Salem Al Hanawi, Manager, Con­sumer Af­fairs, says this move, mir­rors global best prac­tices of a free-stand­ing tele­com reg­u­la­tory author­ity. The CRA has trans­formed from what was a small team un­der ic­tQATAR into the author­ity on all tele­com mat­ters in­side Qatar, with sev­eral of its ten­ta­cles deal­ing with spec­trum al­lo­ca­tions, num­ber­ing, do­mains, reg­u­la­tions, con­sumer af­fairs and so on.

Right off the bat, CRA has made it clear that the pro­tec­tion of con­sumer rights con­tin­ues to re­main one of its top pri­or­i­ties. Last year, the author­ity drafted and re­leased the Con­sumer Pro­tec­tion Pol­icy (CPP), the Arsel mo­bile app and the Code on Ad­ver­tis­ing, Mar­ket­ing and Brand­ing, all aimed at safe­guard­ing and pro­mot­ing the rights of tele­com users. “Our role is mak­ing sure con­sumers are aware of their rights and obligations in mak­ing in­formed de­ci­sions about the ser­vices they have pur­chased. And we work to­gether with ser­vice providers to make sure all their strate­gies and goals are aligned to­wards the ben­e­fit of the con­sumer,” Al Hanawi says.

The CRA deals with close to 100 com­plaints ev­ery month; con­sumers who have not been able to re­solve their com­plaints with their tele­com providers can still ap­proach the CRA as the last re­sort and present their case. If af­ter 30 days of plac­ing a com­plaint with your ser­vice provider, your is­sue hasn't been re­solved in a sat­is­fac­tory man­ner, you can lodge a com­plaint with the CRA ei­ther in per­son, by call­ing the 103

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