Radio in the Middle East is booming, and Qatar is ready to get in on the action.
The small Persian Gulf nation, home to Al Jazeera television, is seeking to establish some 54 new commercial FM channels.
The Gulf Times reported that a request was made for the allocations to the International Telecommunications Union at the opening of the Third Gulf Cooperating Council Coordination Meeting on FM Channels, hosted by the Qatari Supreme Council of Information and Communication Technology.
Qatar currently has authorization for 15 FM channels in the congested airwaves of the Gulf region; the ITU is expected to authorize 10 to 20 additional FM channels.
GCC Telecommunication Bureau Director Mahmood M Sayyar, according to The Gulf Times, said he expected many more private FM stations to launch in Qatar in the future, although interference from/with broadcasters in neighboring nations is a concern.
“FM is bringing back people to the radio. I don’t see any reason why Qatar with so much potential cannot have more FM stations for commercial broadcast in the coming years,” Sayyar told Gulf Times.