Qatar-based telecoms group Ooredoo has announced that its customer base exceeded 100 million across its footprint in the Middle East, North Africa (MENA) and Southeast Asia by the end of 2014, up from a consolidated global customer base of more than 95 million at end-December 2013. 2014 saw the company grow its largely-cellular user base in key markets like Qatar, Algeria and Oman, as well as launch operations in Myanmar, with achievements including reaching more than 3.5 million 3G customers in Algeria within one year of the launch of 3G services. Ooredoo operates in markets with an addressable population of more than 700 million people, and sees strong potential for growth across its footprint.
Ooredoo has also announced that it is looking to accelerate growth across its business-to-business (B2B) customer base in the MENA and Southeast Asian regions. The company already has a strong presence in the B2B market, generating more than USD1 billion revenue from B2B services in 2014, with nine-month year-on-year growth up 10% and B2B customers up 25%, but with an estimated nine million companies present in its core markets of Algeria, Tunisia, Iraq, Kuwait, Qatar, Indonesia, Oman and Myanmar, Ooredoo is looking to build upon its position and fully realise its opportunities. It is seeking to tap the estimated USD10 billion B2B market within its footprint with an enhanced strategy which it unveiled at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. Ooredoo has assembled a dedicated team of more than 1,100 business service professionals as part of its Ooredoo Business unit, aiming to enhance the company’s corporate focus across its primary markets. Ooredoo has also established a Sales Academy where more than 600 sales team members are being trained in best-in-class sales techniques for business services. Ooredoo offers a broad portfolio of solutions, including connectivity, convergence and cloud services, and is applying its expertise to new areas, such as machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. One of Ooredoo Business’ first major launches is a pan- regional cloud-based M2M platform with Ericsson, which enables companies to implement vertical Internet of Things (IoT) solutions quickly and more easily. With a ‘build once, deploy many’ approach and by adopting a cloud-first principle for all of its product management, Ooredoo has cut time to market by 75% and radically reduced its costs to deliver these solutions, its press release claimed. Ooredoo also continues to develop Smart City technologies, recognising the growing demand for such services across its global footprint. More than ten major cities within Ooredoo footprint are classified as ‘mega-cities’ hosting a population of more than ten million, and more are set to join them in the coming years, as rural populations move into the bigger urban areas.