There are two mobile network operators in Qatar:
Ooredoo has the better coverage and speed at higher prices than Vodafone. 2G/GSM is 900 and 1800 Mhz and 3G/UMTS on 2100 Mhz.
4G/LTE has started on 800, 1800 and 2600 Mhz in 2012 on Ooredoo and 2014 on Vodafone. Ooredoo covers all of the territory by the end of 2015 with LTE, Vodafone only in city centers. 4G/LTE is available on prepaid without surcharges.
You can purchase a SIM card in a store of the network providers. For registration you have to show a passport. Register at the point of purchase or your SIM card will be shut off.
Qatar 'filters' a.k.a. censors the internet what pornography, political criticism of Gulf countries, gay and lesbian content, sexual health resources, dating and escort services, and privacy and circumvention tools are concerned. Users complain that non-obscene or non-offensive websites are also blocked. So you may install a proxy or VPN before to circumvent. The filtering in Qatar is relatively transparent as a block page is shown instead. Internet at least in some international hotels is not subject to censorship.
Ooredoo (formely Qtel) is the market leader in Qatar with more than 2/3 of all customers in the country. It has the best coverage and speed in the country: Coverage map
Its prepaid line is called Hala.
Their stater set is sold for 35 QR in their outlets Ooredoo store locator. It includes 250 domestic minutes and 250 MB data valid for 7 days.
Top-ups are available in denominations of 10-500 QAR giving 30-360 days of validity. Thereafter your line will only be able to receive calls and SMS for 30 days. You can re-activate it by topping up within 120 days of expiring and get back all unused credit. Your line will be de-activated after 120 days and cannot be re-activated. The unused credit will be lost.
Check balance and validity by *129#.
Data feature packsEdit
Data outside of packs is 0.99 QR per MB. These data packs called Mobile Intenet packs are offered:
|24 hours||150 MB||QR 3||DD||no charge, if no data is used|
|24 hours||1 GB||QR 20||Flexi||roll-over of unused data to the next day|
|7 days||1 GB||QR 20||DW||roll-over of unused data to the next week|
|7 days||"unlimited"||QR 125||UN||500 kbps after 35 GB of data is consumed|
To activate text code to 121. All packs will automatically renew, if there is enough credit. They can be stopped with the SMS ‘STOP MIP” to 121.
Data recharges Edit
Furthermore, Ooredoo sells mobile internet top-up cards. You can load data directly on your plan by vouchers or online or by using their app:
- 100 MB: QR 10
- 250 MB: QR 20
- 500 MB: QR 30
- 1 GB: QR 60
- 3 GB: QR 80
- 6 GB: QR 100
- 15 GB: QR 200
Data is valid for 30 days once activated and more than one recharge can be done during this 30 day period.
Roaming option Edit
For cheap roaming Ooredoo offers its Passport Card or Passport Pack: For QR 100 they include 100 mins incoming and outgoing and 1 GB data (2 GB in GCC countries) valid for 7 days. Just top up with a Passport pack and text 'OP' tot 121. Check balance by texting 'Balance OP' to 121.
- APN: data
- Website in English: Ooredoo website
Vodafone is the clear no.2 in Qatar, but as long as you stay in centers, it's the cheaper alternative. 4G/LTE is available in Doha, Pearl and West Bay: Vodafone coverage map.
Their welcome pack is sold at any Vodafone store (locator) for QR 25. It only contains local minutes and needs to be recharged for more. USB modems for use with mobile broadband are also available in any Vodafone store.
You can charge it at their stores or online with 20, 35, 100, 150, 350 or 500 QR giving 60-365 days of validty. Check your account balance and validity by *100#. A SIM card is valid for 120 days after the date of credit expiry. Thereafter your SIM will be suspended.
Data feature packsEdit
Default data rate outside of packs is 0.99 QR per MB.
|Data for 1 hour||QR 3||1 hour||1 GB||*200*1#|
|Daily Pack 1||QR 1||1 day||10 MB||*200*302#|
|Daily Pack 5||QR 5||1 day||300 MB||*200*500#|
|Weekly Pack 6||QR 6||7 days||75 MB||*200*306#|
|Weekly Pack 10||QR 10||7 days||150 MB||*200*710#|
|Weekly Pack 20||QR 20||7 days||1 GB||*200*720#|
|Weekly Pack 125||QR 125||7 days||unlimited||*200*125#|
|Internet Pack 30||QR 30||15 days||500 MB||online/store|
|Internet 60||QR 60||30 days||5 GB||online/store|
|Internet 80||QR 80||30 days||7 GB||online/store|
|Internet 100||QR 100||30 days||9 GB||online/store|
|Internet 200||QR 200||42 days||20 GB||online/store|
When you have used all your data allowance, you 'll be charged on the standard rate of 0.99 QR/MB.
Vodafone Flex Edit
In summer 2017 Vodafone extended their Flex scheme to prepaid. Flex is a set of units which gives you the flexibility to consume to customize your plan for local & international calls, SMS and internet the way you want. To change to Flex dial *200*771#, to deactivate dial *100#.
It has a weekly base rate of Q 20 giving you 200 Flex units. Data by default is 125 Flex points per GB. To check your Flex balance dial *130#. These top-ups can be added for more data valid for 30 days:
- top-up QR 60: 5 GB data + 60 Flex points
- top-up QR 80: 7 GB data + 60 Flex points
- top-up QR 100: 9 GB data + 150 Flex points
- top-up QR 200: 20 GB data + 500 Flex points
Roaming option Edit
In 76 countries (list) you can use 1 GB data on roaming for a week at QR 100. In the GCC countries this is doubled to 2 GB. Activation is by code *200*100#.
- APN: web.vodafone.com.qa
- Website in English: Vodafone