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From left: Sheikh Saud bin Nasser Al Thani, Chief Executive Officer, Waleed Al Sayed; Chief Operating Officer, and Fatima Al Kuwari, Director, Public Relations at Ooredoo at a Media Roundtable at Ooredoo Tower yesterday. (Kammutty VP)
Doha: Ooredoo has tied up with Apple to distribute iPhones in Qatar, a senior Ooredoo official said.
“The agreement will help us sell iPhones at better prices,” Sheikh Soud bin Nasser Al Thani, Chief Executive Officer of Ooredoo, said at a press conference yesterday.
He announced that the first order of new handsets has already been placed.
“The contract with Apple is to give a complete experience to customers on both service and product end,” Waleed Al Sayed, Chief Operating Officer of Ooredoo said, adding that packages related to the new product will be announced soon.
Ooredoo has also signed an agreement with Samsung to launch the upcoming Samsung Galaxy 4 in the country.
Qatar has now close to one million customers on the mobile network and the country has one of the highest numbers of smartphone users in the region. These users are equally divided between Blackberry, Samsung, Apple, Nokia and other mobile companies, according to Al Sayed.
Speaking on the issue of price war, he noted that it is not up to Ooredoo to decide prices.
“If I want to reduce prices of any of the products, I am subject to approval from the regulator (ictQatar),” Al Sayed said, adding that the ‘competitor’ is not bound by the regulator as per the existing telecom law, hinting at Vodafone.
To address the issue a Regulatory Accounting System (RAS) is being built and Ooredoo is collaborating with ictQatar to revamp prices.
“We are working with the telecom regulator to better understand the issue of prices. Ooredoo has involved professionals with consultation of ictQatar to build the Regulatory Accounting System so that the approval of our prices will be smoother in the future,” Al Sayed said.
Ooredoo will also launch the ultrafast 4G Long-Term-Evolution (LTE) mobile broadband network in April.
The 4G LTE network will deliver speeds that are three-to-six times faster than the current 3G network and will offer the best penetration in the Arabian Gulf. Customers will be able to easily stream high-bandwidth content like HD video on their mobile phones, and to transfer large files through 4G USB modems and MiFi devices.
Ooredoo will launch the 4G LTE network starting in Doha, where it has already installed 100 antennas, including at popular destinations such as The Pearl, Katara, West Bay, the Corniche and Sealine Beach Resort, according to a release by the company.
The phase two of Fiber to the home (ftth) has also begun and it is expected to be completed by 2014, officials said.