We are creating more opportunities to enjoy the online universe

Ooredoo's aim and focus is on delivering a great network, awesome products, exceptional service and enhancing the digital lives of our customers, says CEO Ian Dench  

'Enjoy, The Internet' is a major campaign by Ooredoo aimed at digital push. What are the important features and attractions that are associated with this campaign?

Enjoy The Internet is a group-wide campaign, which in Oman is all about cementing our role as the sultanate’s data experience leaders by providing a fantastic digital experience, awesome products and services and a great network. Chief among these, is the massive expansion of our

4G network which will increase coverage from 55 per cent to 90 per cent of Oman’s population by Q1 2018. That involves the biggest ever upgrade in our history, adding 1,000 new 4G locations in the space of nine months.

This is a first-of-its-kind for Oman that promises to change the way communities across the nation access the digital world by facilitating greater connectivity, faster interactions, and quick service for our customers. It’s a comprehensive effort aimed at every customer segment with more opportunities to enjoy the online universe to the max. 

Traditional calls and SMSs are fast giving way to social media apps, which offer both texting and calling. Do you think that the telecom industry will soon see a complete transformation into Internet service providers and phase out traditional calls and SMS services, at least on the mobile platform? Please explain.

Instant messaging overtook SMS in 2013, and since then the growth has increasingly continued towards digital communications. For years we have facilitated this transformation in Oman by identifying the needs of customers and providing them with the plans and offers that cater to these changes and trends. With today’s digital landscape and with handsets being almost an extension of ourselves, we knew we needed to focus on data experience leadership and giving our customers what they need to really enjoy the internet and stay connected.

We have no doubt that this change will take place, as we spend more and more time using apps or social media. However, traditional voice calls still have a strong foothold when it comes to being the easiest way to connect with others in developing countries and indeed, we still have a demand for voice services, both at a consumer and business level. Thus, while one day the trend may shift and we will aim to lead this trend, traditional voice call services still have a place.

But undoubtedly, the shift to data has happened; with more than 50 per cent of our customers spending now on data. And this is why we offer a fantastic array of data-centric plans and packages, so that our customers can enjoy the Internet.

What are the basic differences between 4G and 4G+ services? How will 5G impact the whole sector?

Both terms are used to measure internet speeds and the technology used to deliver them. The average 4G speed starts at 15 Mbps and can reach up to 30 Mbps. On the other hand, 4G+ averages more than three times 4G at its highest speed, reaching up to 90 Mbps.

5G is expected to be a game changing technology due to the depth of connectivity it provides. 5G differs from 4G, in that it provides high speed and low latency. It is an enabler of the ‘internet of things’; driverless cards, smart cities, connected homes and more. It will require a completely different architecture than that which is currently available, with a huge increase in number of mobile sites and base stations.

This is not just the case for Oman but the rest of the world as well. When we speak about 5G, we are not just talking about data speeds, but a landmark change in how we use technology, the advent of smart cities, and the ways we communicate with one another. While it is still some time away, it is fair to say that the impact of 5G will immeasurably change the digital landscape and how it is defined in the future.

As a new private player is set to enter the market, what are Oordeoo's strategies to stay ahead of the competition, retain and replenish clientele?

We are dedicated to our customers and that dedication has seen us enjoy tremendous growth, not just in Oman, but in every market we operate in as a group. As always, regardless of our competitors, our aim and focus is on doing what we do best: delivering a great network, awesome products, exceptional service and enhancing the digital lives of our customers. That has been the key to our success so far and will remain an integral part of our ethos moving forward. We have a razor sharp focus and our aim is not to be distracted by market challengers. 

We are creating more opportunities to enjoy the online universe
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