Local dignitaries and Qtel officials among others watching on a giant-sized screen at the City Center last night the Ooredoo launch event at the Mobile World Congress at Barcelona. The event was streamed live on the giant-sized screen at a City Center cinema. Hundreds watched the event live on the screen. Also, the event was telecast live by Qatar TV.

By Pratap John/Chief Business Reporter

Qtel Group and its operating companies worldwide have been unified under a new brand – Ooredoo as part of the international communication company’s major initiative on the global stage.

The new brand was unveiled by Ooredoo chairman HE Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohamed bin Saud al-Thani at a  launch event at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Spain, last night. 

Each of Ooredoo’s operating companies in emerging markets across the Middle East, North Africa and South-East Asia will adopt the new brand during the course of this year and in 2014.

These companies, in which Ooredoo already has a controlling interest, include brands such as Qtel in Qatar, Indosat (Indonesia) Wataniya (Kuwait), Nawras (Oman) Tunisiana (Tunisia) and Nedjma (Algeria).

Sheikh Abdullah said: “With Ooredoo, we have chosen an Arabic word that means ‘I want’ to reflect the aspirations of our customers and our core belief that we can enrich people’s lives and stimulate human growth in the communities where we operate.

“We believe that young people should be given the life chances that mobile technology can provide; that under-served communities should be able to access the Internet; that every woman should have an equal opportunity to use a mobile phone; and that entrepreneurs and small businesses should be able to receive business services tailored to their needs. Our new brand reflects these beliefs.”

Qtel Qatar chief executive officer Sheikh Saud bin Nasser al-Thani, said: “This is a proud moment for Qtel in Qatar. Our company is at the heart of a global communications company that serves nearly 90mn people in communities around the world. Qtel in Qatar will be the first company in the Group to align with this new brand, and we will continue to find new ways to surprise and delight our customers.”

The invitation-only launch event included presentations by Anne Bouverot, GSMA director general; Cherie Blair, chairman of the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women; and Dr Hamadoun Toure, secretary general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

It also featured the guest appearance of Qatari Olympic medallist Nasser al-Attiyah.

Ooredoo has experienced significant growth over the last six years, transforming from a single market operator in Qatar to an international communications company with a global customer base of more than 89.2mn people (as of September 30, 2012) and consolidated revenues of $6.8bn for the first nine months of fiscal year 2012. Delivering mobile, fixed, broadband Internet and corporate managed services tailored to the needs of consumers and businesses in emerging markets, Ooredoo has been the fastest-growing telecommunications company in the world by revenue since 2006 and its enterprise value has more than tripled since 2005.

Ooredoo’s ultimate parent company is Qatar Telecom (Qtel), whose shares are listed on the Qatar Exchange and the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange.

Ooredoo Group CEO Dr Nasser Marafih said: “We are very excited to become Ooredoo because the new brand signals our readiness to take the company to the next level. It is our belief that we can better serve our global customers by leveraging the combined resources and assets of a strong, unified global business under one brand.  We also believe that rebranding now will help us to maintain our momentum in the face of new realities for the industry, signalling our commitment to become a global force.”

A number of on-going initiatives, built around its core strategy of differentiating on customer experience, are already taking Ooredoo to the next level. The company has initiated a major modernisation programme across its core network and is investing for the future to deliver high speed broadband as new frequencies and new technologies open up.

Ooredoo has been at the forefront of delivering life-enhancing mobile services, such as “mLearning” in Tunisia to support young people’s economic empowerment and “mWomen” programmes in Iraq and Indonesia.

Ooredoo is also providing relevant services to customers who cannot afford smartphones and working with the GSMA to develop more intuitive devices to overcome literacy barriers.


Messi named  brand ambassador

Legendary Argentinian and FC Barcelona player Lionel Messi will be the “global brand ambassador” for Ooredoo, the international telecom company announced last night.  Ooredoo said it has agreed “to support the Leo Messi Foundation as part of the company’s continued commitment to making a difference in communities across the world.” Leo Messi Foundation is a charity supporting access to education and healthcare for vulnerable children. In 2012, Messi set a record for most goals in a calendar year, and afterward was named FIFA’s “Player of the Year” for a record fourth time. The soccer wizard has millions of fans all over the world, even in countries where soccer is not the national game.

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