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Ooredoo to focus on Internet to boost revenue, growth: Chairman

Ooredoo to focus on Internet to boost revenue, growth: Chairman


Satyendra Pathak
Doha
Ooredoo would develop new revenue streams in business to business (B2B), fixed and digital segments to achieve its goal of sustaining data experience leadership, the telecom major's chairman has said.
Addressing shareholders at the company's annual general meeting in Doha on Wednesday, Ooredoo Chairman Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al Thani said the company has continued to deliver strong data revenue growth from consumers and enterprise customers.
"Data revenue increased to 40 percent of Ooredoo Group revenues in 2016. It is a new record for the company and an important sign that its strategy is delivering real and sustainable returns for stakeholders," the chairman said.
The chairman also said the important highlights from 2016 included its success in adding 22 million new customers to reach a total of 138 million customers by year-end, representing a growth of 19 percent compared to the previous year.
To achieve the company's goal of sustaining data experience leadership, Sheikh Abdullah said, the company has invested in building world-class networks, offering 4G services in eight of Ooredoo's 10 markets.
"We have also launched 4G+ services in a number of key markets like Qatar, Oman and Kuwait. We have begun to roll-out 4G+ in Indonesia and Tunisia. We are also testing 5G solutions to ensure Ooredoo's leadership in this area," he said.
There had also been parallel investments in fixed network services, he said, adding that the company had fixed networks in six operations.
"We have upgraded our global Internet capacity and increased the number of destinations reached with four new undersea cables landing in 2016," the chairman said.
Sheikh Abdullah said the company would continue to streamline its operations and portfolios and focus on revenue growth.
"We have achieved significant savings across the group through centralised purchasing and infrastructure sharing," he said.
In addition, the chairman said, the company has successfully optimised its portfolio by divesting non-core WiMAX operations in the Philippines and Pakistan.
Talking to Qatar Tribune on the sidelines of the meeting, Ooredoo Qatar CEO Waleed al Sayed said the company has taken a quantum leap from being the leading operator in Qatar to being the premier ICT company in the country and region.
"We have invested in the network, the human resources and the digital infrastructure to deliver an incredible range of services for consumers and businesses. The year 2017 will see us enable more people to truly enjoy the Internet and fulfil their digital potential," he said.
Asked about the progress on Ooredoo's negotiations with Salam International about the potential acquisition of a majority stake in its IT subsidiary, Sayed said that negotiations were still on.
He, however, said that two companies were expected to finalise the deal within the current fiscal year.
Earlier during the meeting, the shareholders approved the recommendation of the board to distribute a cash dividend of QR 3.5 per share.

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