Ooredoo to focus on data services

Ooredoo to focus on data servicesOoredoo, a leading telecommunication provider, is increasing its focus on data and digital services across its footprint, as the company looks to leverage the opportunities presented by the changing communications sector.

Since the launch of the Ooredoo brand in February 2013, Ooredoo has repositioned its operations across its markets to provide a comprehensive data proposition and fully support the digital lifestyles of its customers.

The company has rolled-out a comprehensive network investment programme, with cutting-edge 4G LTE services in Qatar, Kuwait, Oman and the Maldives, supported by high-speed fibre in some key markets. In addition, the company launched 3G services in Algeria and Tunisia in 2013, and began a massive network modernisation programme in Indonesia. This was supported by a range of innovative new services and partnerships with global leaders to enhance its data proposition.

Nasser Marafih, group CEO, Ooredoo, said: “Data is at the heart of our business, and in the last 18 months we’ve fundamentally transformed our operations to deliver the best possible data experience, from core markets in Qatar and Kuwait, through to new markets like Myanmar. Enhancing our data offering is essential to achieving our vision of enriching people’s lives and our brand promise of human growth.”

The shift towards data is already delivering a strong return for shareholders, with data revenue representing 20 per cent of total group revenue for the first half of 2014 and is becoming the single biggest contributor to revenue growth.

Ooredoo’s approach is grounded in the experience of its home market of Qatar, which is on-track to become one of the world’s best-connected nations. Ooredoo’s roll-out of a nationwide fibre network in Qatar was one of the fastest fibre roll-outs in the world, with the company currently serving more than 175,000 homes and businesses. It also comes from its success in frontier markets, where Ooredoo is connecting millions of customers who have not previously had access to the Internet.

At the core of its strategy across these diverse markets is a drive to increase smartphone penetration, deliver innovative new bundles and data offers for customers, and provide networks that can keep people connected throughout the day across a range of devices.

Ooredoo’s strong focus in this area has enabled the company to hold the number one position in mobile data in Qatar, Algeria, and Iraq. Its home market of Qatar has the second highest level of household broadband of any developing country after Korea, according to the most recent UN ITU Broadband Commission report.

People across emerging markets are increasingly enjoying digital lifestyles. In Myanmar, Ooredoo introduced the first Facebook packs on the market, with free Facebook access included with all data bundles. Within just three weeks, Ooredoo became the number one Facebook network in Myanmar, and continues to see strong demand.

In Indonesia, Indosat saw impressive results from a first-of-its-kind partnership with Twitter, which enabled Indosat customers to quickly and easily sign-up to receive Twitter feeds on their favourite Fifa World Cup teams via a dedicated URL. The number of unique twitter users on the Indosat network grew by 32 per cent over the course of the event.

Similar programmes in Kuwait and Oman, where Ooredoo companies have partnered with OTT players like WhatsApp and with leading smartphone vendors on their hero launches, are also driving the growth of the data segment.

In Oman, Nawras took a leadership position by introducing WhatsApp bundles and 4G speed bundles, supported by a major network investment programme. The company saw strong growth in data revenues and data revenue share as a result.

Ooredoo is working hard to support the development of “digital family life” through a new generation of products and services. In Kuwait, Ooredoo was the first company to introduce Data Plans that enabled families to share data. These plans provide more flexibility to users, enabling them to transfer data easily.

Ooredoo’s global programme of network investment and development is supporting this shift to digital family life. On average, 4G customers consume 30 per cent more data than 3G users – reflecting both the growing demand and need for advanced networks.

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