Kippreport gets insights from Mike Belk, CEO and president of Daimler Middle East and LevantMarch 26, 2015 12:02
Ooredoo Qatar offers customers free 4G internet
Generous giveaway part of company’s ‘Year of Digital’ campaign
February 4, 2014 8:29 by kippreport
Ooredoo, formerly known as Qatar Telecom, announced on Sunday, February 2, that it wil lnow provide 4G internet for free for many of its customers.
Free internet has long been the dream of people tha t use their hand-held devices for their every need – be it for buying movie tickets, searching for a fine dining experience or just sharing a funny selfie or video with close friends.
The Qatar-based firm has made this possible, but it’s unclear whether UAE subscribers will receive the same service from their providers anytime soon. Etisalat and du are listening, of course.
However, if the internet is provided for free, what will be the source of income and growth for telecom firms? The CEOs of telcos in the region, however, are not worried as they have other means to keep their organisations profitable.
Ooredoo’s CEO, Nasser Marafih, says telecom firms need to be on their toes, as constant innovations and value-added services will bring in profits. He stresses that brand loyalty is important and can be achieved by bringing customers closer to the company, with measures, such as inexpensive or free internet on hand-held devices.
Ooredoo’s chief operating officer, Waleed Al-Sayed, says that the 4G key, which usually costs Ooredoo customers $16.4 per month for the ‘Shahry’ package and $4.12 per week for the ‘Hala’ mobile internet or broadband pack, would be free for those subscriptions, as part of Ooredoo’s 2014 ‘Year of Digital’ campaign.
Customers have rapidly adopted 4G, as the network provides connection speeds that are three to six times faster than the existing 3G network. On 4G, customers can enjoy the smoothest internetbrowsing experience –such as easily transferring files, streaming HD video from Ooredoo’s Mozaic GO app and quickly updating social media.
The Year of Digital campaign will also include a push towards a more independent and self-sufficient customer service, including updates to the Ooredoo app and establishing self-service machines.
Ooredoo’s Mobile Money service will also see improvements, as it is investing to ensure its benefits – such as low-cost international money transfers and the ability to pay staff directly – are as accessible to all.
A few months back, telecom industry analysts said that most of the growth for telcos was coming from data usage, since conventional voice telephony has slowed down in mature markets and those with high mobile penetration rates, such as the UAE and Qatar.