DOHA, Qatar, March 11 /PRNewswire/ --

- Energy City Qatar, the Region's First Integrated Business and Residential hub for the Hydrocarbon Industry Will Connect Businesses to Global Markets

- Oil, gas Companies to Benefit From Access to AT&T's Worldwide Network

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) today announced that an AT&T subsidiary, in association with Qtel and NavLink, has signed a memorandum of understanding with Energy City Qatar (ECQ) to jointly develop and deliver advanced data communications services and solutions to the "first-of-its kind" landmark business centre in the Middle East.

ECQ is a major US$2.6 billion development to create the Middle East's first integrated energy and business centre for the oil and gas industry. With today's announcement, ECQ is moving rapidly to provide its commercial tenants with the networking expertise, data and voice telecommunications, Internet Protocol (IP) and Internet, hosting and managed services needed for companies to do business both locally and globally.

ECQ will build and provide the facilities and infrastructure required to equip a carrier class Internet data centre (IDC) and a network operations centre ("NOC") in the Energy City service centre in Qatar. The two centres will comply with AT&T's and Qtel's standards for these types of facilities.

NavLink, (a company in which AT&T and Qtel both hold a minority shareholding) will supply network management tools and use both the NOC and IDC to deliver a variety of AT&T managed and hosting services to the ECQ tenants. AT&T and Qtel will jointly deliver global and local network IP data and voice services to Energy City tenants in Qatar.

Today's announcement reflects the continuing focus that AT&T is placing in the Middle East, where the company has made significant investments in recent years. AT&T placed its first Middle East global network node in Doha, in cooperation with Qtel in 2005. Since then, AT&T has developed agreements to deploy its infrastructure in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. AT&T opened its regional headquarters in Dubai in 2006 to meet the needs of its customers in this emerging and high-growth market.

AT&T provides advanced communications services to global multinational customers and offers consistent, resilient, standardized IP services to business customers around the world. These services include IP-based Virtual Private Networks (VPN), which use the latest Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) technology, and are complemented by an advanced portfolio of data-hosting services and leading IP security offerings.

This week AT&T was named by Fortune magazine as among the Top 50 Most Admired companies in the world for the first time. AT&T placed No. 34 on the overall World's Most Admired Companies list. Fortune also named AT&T the World's Most Admired Telecommunications Company.

"AT&T is pleased to be able to play such an important role in this prestigious, landmark project," said John Gibson president of Business Development, Middle East and Africa, AT&T Global Business Services. "Today's announcement is an important opportunity for AT&T to help connect businesses around the world, using the best networking solutions at its disposal to benefit this major business centre in the Middle East, one of the world's fastest growing economies."

Qtel is a major telecommunications service provider of both fixed and mobile telecommunications in the state of Qatar and is expanding its presence in the Middle East, North Africa, and Asia to become one of the world's top 20 telecommunications companies by 2020. Today's announcement underlines the strategic investment of resources into consumer wireless, fixed wireless, and managed data services, the latter serving large and corporate business both in Qatar and abroad.

"Qtel is delighted to be involved with this very important initiative as part of our continuous and committed support to Qatar's business community, represented by this ground breaking project at Energy City." said Dr. Nasser Marafih, CEO, of Qtel. "Providing local expertise in conjunction with established partners is a win-win situation for all involved and gives Energy City Qatar the support it needs on its journey towards being a major business centre in the Middle East."

ECQ is proud to be associated with Qtel, Qatar's leading telecommunications company and AT&T -- one of the world's preeminent telecommunications companies," said Mr. Hesham Al Emadi, Energy City Qatar CEO. "Joining Qtel and AT&T's advanced telecoms technologies and expertise will play a major role in connecting companies to global markets and expertise within the hydrocarbon industry, thus securing Energy City Qatar's status as the first global hub for companies in this sector."

Laurent Delifer, Co-President & COO of NavLink commented, "NavLink is keen on working with ECQ on introducing world-class ICT services, hence, creating more value to ECQ tenants. This is an exciting collaboration and we are looking forward, with our strategic partners, to enable ECQ to offer advanced IP-based services to its tenants within the city as well as managed global connectivity to fulfill their most demanding telecommunications needs."

Find More Information Online: Web Site Links: AT&T Web Site - ( NaviLink Website - ( Related Media Kits: AT&T's Internet Protocol Virtual Private Network ( Related Releases: AT&T to Invest US$1 Billion in Global Network and Services for Multinational Customers in 2008 - ( Related Fact Sheets: AT&T VPN Snapshot - Technorati Tags: AT&T:( Middle East:( Africa: ( John Gibson: (

About Energy City Qatar (ECQ)

Energy City Qatar (ECQ) is a pioneering development that will be the Gulf's first oil and gas industry hub. ECQ will be a single point of access to markets and expertise, the Middle East home for global players in the hydrocarbon value chain. Envisioned by Gulf Energy, ECQ aims to attract the industry leaders in Oil & Gas production, IOCs, NOCs, support services, infrastructure and downstream activities, shipping and trading, market and resource data, intellectual property and energy trading. ECQ has the full support of the Qatari Government and aims to lead the way in hydrocarbon above ground resource development. ECQ forms part of the major new city development, Lusail, which in addition to major business and entertainment districts, will be home to up to 200,000 residents. Qatar is the most progressive, business friendly and the fastest growing economy in the Middle East. Home to the world's third largest natural gas reserves, Qatar has a stable and maturing political environment, a free press, and internationally recognized regulatory environment. ECQ's lead financial advisor is Gulf Finance House, and PFC Energy is its strategic advisor. Its strategic partners are Abu Dhabi Investment House and Kuwait Investment Company.

About AT&T

AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) is a premier communications holding company. Its subsidiaries and affiliates, AT&T operating companies, are the providers of AT&T services in the United States and around the world. Among their offerings are the world's most advanced IP-based business communications services and the nation's leading wireless, high speed Internet access and voice services. In domestic markets, AT&T is known for the directory publishing and advertising sales leadership of its Yellow Pages and YELLOWPAGES.COM organizations, and the AT&T brand is licensed to innovators in such fields as communications equipment. As part of its three-screen integration strategy, AT&T is expanding its TV entertainment offerings. Additional information about AT&T Inc. and the products and services provided by AT&T subsidiaries and affiliates is available at

About Qtel

The Qtel Group today operates in 16 countries in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia-Pacific through its subsidiary and associate companies and has successfully grown its total mobile subscriber base from 1.3 million in September 2006 to 16 million in December 2007. The Group's proportionate subscribers in December 2007 stood at 7 million (2006: 1.1 million subscribers).

About NavLink

NavLink ( is a leading provider of managed data services for hosting, and enterprise networking solutions to a strong customer base in over 17 countries throughout Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Founded in 1996, NavLink has built a strong reputation by delivering state-of-the-art business and technical consulting, enterprise networking, enterprise hosting, systems integration, and managed services. NavLink enjoys deep, strategic relationships with leading telecommunications carriers.

NavLink manages and operates several carrier class data centers in Europe and the Middle East that are interconnected with AT&T's global network (AGN) and host AGN nodes. NavLink acts as a service delivery arm for AT&T in the Middle East and North Africa and works to expand the AGN. AT&T has held a significant investment in NavLink for a number of years.

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