Qatar Telecom subsidiary Wataniya Palestine is planning to invest $300m in its infrastructure over three years beginning 2012.

The money will come from the $50.3m capital raised through the initial public offering, which took place in December 2010 and a syndicate loan from local banks. 

Wataniya Palestine will use the capital to launch its operations in Gaza and to finance its operations in the West Bank.

As the only operator with a third-generation licence in Palestine, Wataniya is preparing its network and infrastructure to launch the technology once the Israel authorities grant them the necessary spectrum.

It is unclear when this will happen, the company is still negotiating the release of the frequencies and entry of equipment into Gaza with the Israeli authorities.

“Going to Gaza is a political decision that will depend on circumstances rather than a commercial decision. We don’t want to build a network in Gaza and wait for the frequencies, but we are preparing ourselves to ensure we are ready when we get the frequencies,” says Bassam Hannoun, chief executive officer of Wataniya Palestine.

Wataniya Palestine was launched in 2009 and has since gained a market share of 24 per cent.

The Palestinian telecoms sector is one of the least developed in the region, but has great potential according to Hannoun. With a mobile penetration of just 63 per cent and a large youth population, there is room for growth.

The Palestinian authorities have been planning to auction a third mobile licence, but the process cannot begin until the Israeli authorities issue them the spectrums.