Ooredoo, Zain, TASC Towers create $2.2bn tower company

Mobile voice and data services operator Zain has disclosed the finalization of definitive agreements involving Ooredoo Group, Zain Group, and TASC Towers Holding, establishing the most extensive tower company in the MENA region through a cash and share transaction.The expanded tower company, comprising around 30,000 towers, possesses an estimated combined current enterprise value of $2.2 billion (€2bn). In the newly restructured entity, Ooredoo and Zain will maintain an equal substantial stake of 49.3% each, achieved through an asset and cash equalization process. The founders of TASC will retain the remaining shareholding through Digital Infrastructure Assets and continue to oversee the business operations.Anticipated to generate run-rate revenues close to $500 million annually, the tower entity is expected to achieve an EBITDAaL (after leases) of over $200 million annually upon the completion of closures in various countries, including Qatar, Kuwait, Jordan, Iraq, Algeria, and Tunisia.This transaction signing represents a significant milestone in realizing crucial aspects of both Ooredoo and Zain's strategies, emphasizing the evolution into smart telcos and the creation of a value-focused portfolio.Functioning as an independent tower company and harnessing the collective assets of Ooredoo and Zain, TASC will provide Passive Infrastructure as a Service (PIaaS) through a partnership model. This offers mobile network operators a capital-efficient alternative for building, owning, and managing their passive infrastructure in a cost-effective and environmentally sustainable manner. The partnership model is designed to meet the needs of other mobile network operators aiming to cut costs, reduce carbon emissions, and address the rising demand for sites driven by double-digit growth in mobile data consumption across the region.Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, MD and Group CEO, Ooredoo; Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain Vice-Chairman & Group CEO; and Iyad Mazhar, Founder & CEO of TASC, said in a joint statement: “This pioneering deal embarks us on an exciting journey together as it results in the establishment of the region’s largest independent Tower company, placing the MENA region on the world telecom tower map. It also positions the region as an advanced player in the global telecoms landscape, and we anticipate wide-ranging positive implications for the region – from economic growth and upgraded connectivity to technological improvements and increased global relevance.”“This strategic transaction will unlock significant shareholder value through higher earnings multiples, as well as ensure capital efficiency, optimising balance sheets for our respective companies and creating new possibilities for investors. The deal also demonstrates our joint dedication to supporting the reduction of the region’s carbon footprint, contributing to our vision of reshaping the telecommunications sector by building a more sustainable ecosystem and ensuring a better-connected future for our communities across the region,” the CEOs said.Ooredoo and Zain will retain their respective active infrastructure, encompassing wireless communication antennas, intelligent software, and intellectual property related to managing their telecom networks.The expected timeline for completing this transaction envisions initial market closings in 2024. The phased implementation, tailored for each market and conforming to regulatory environments, is contingent on regulatory approvals, with Ooredoo's tower network in Oman undergoing a standalone process.

Ooredoo wins two prestigious investor relations awards

Ooredoo Q.P.S.C, a leading telecommunications provider, has won two prestigious awards at the 2023 edition of the Middle East Investor Relations Association (MEIRA) Annual Conference held in Bahrain. The prestigious event, attracting 500 delegates, culminated in Ooredoo being named the “Leading Corporate for Investor Relations” and secured the “Best Investor Relations Professional” award in Qatar for the fourth consecutive year.The MEIRA Annual Conference concluded on the 14th of November 2023. Held in Bahrain this year, MEIRA is the Middle East’s largest event dedicated to investor relations hosting over 500 delegates. The theme of the event was “From ESG to Sustainable Capital Markets”.Commenting on the news, Aziz Aluthman Fakhroo, Group Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director, said: “I like to extend my gratitude to the MEIRA community for their confidence in our efforts. Once again, these awards reaffirm our steadfast dedication to best practices in Investor Relations. At Ooredoo, our commitment to delivering timely, transparent, and reliable information is paramount. I express my sincere appreciation and pride for the exceptional work of our team, whose dedication has been instrumental in earning these prestigious recognitions.”

Ooredoo Qatar introduces AI-powered feature for foreign visitors

As part of its commitment to revolutionising digital experiences, Ooredoo Qatar has proudly announced the launch of an all-new feature to allow foreign visitors to purchase an eSIM or physical SIM online by confirming their identity with their passport details. An easy-to-use eSIM QR code will be generated as soon as the order is placed and activated once the customer connects to the Ooredoo network. Physical SIM cards will be delivered to any location of customer choice in Qatar.Building on the success of Ooredoo’s World Cup 2022™ initiative, which allowed visitors to purchase SIM cards online using their Hayya identification card, this new feature offers an equally secure and more comprehensive digital solution for the purchase of mobile services with the use of passport documents. As Expo 2023 Doha progresses, Ooredoo invites all visitors to benefit from this state-of-the-art solution, promising a seamless, swift, and secure digital experience. This initiative underscores Ooredoo’s dedication to pioneer advancements in the digital services industry, highlighting its unwavering commitment to Qatar’s broader aspirations for a technology-enabled sustainable future.

Ooredoo, Dell sign MoU to unlock a unified multicloud experience

Doha:  Ooredoo and Dell Technologies have signed a memorandum of understanding to strengthen existing collaboration, simplify digital transformation initiatives and explore new growth opportunities through Dell’s APEX multicloud portfolio.The memorandum was signed by Adrian McDonald, EMEA President, Dell Technologies and Sheikh Ali Bin Jabor Al Thani, CEO, Ooredoo Qatar, during the annual Dell Technologies World 2023.Through the agreement, Ooredoo will explore the Dell APEX offerings to simplify its cloud experiences and gain more control over its applications and data. Dell APEX will allow Qatar’s leading communications service provider to seamlessly manage and orchestrate its workloads while optimizing performance, minimizing risk and ensuring high network availability.Ooredoo will be able to eliminate unnecessary complexity and inefficiency, thereby freeing up its teams to focus on innovation. The collaboration complements Ooredoo’s current IT environment and builds on the existing technology centered around Dell’s infrastructure, storage and cyber recovery services.

Ooredoo unveils exciting summer offers

Kuwait City:  Ooredoo, the leading telecommunications provider, has launched its exclusive "Your Summer On Us" offer for postpaid subscribers, carefuly designed to ensure exceptional summer experiences tailored to customers' diverse needs and preferences.This special offer includes various plans that provide 3 months of free subscription and device installments, aiming to offer a worry-free summer for customers.With these added benefits, Ooredoo is dedicated to ensuring their customers can fully enjoy their summer without financial concerns, making the most of their time and creating lasting memories.Customer-Centric SIM Plans Tailored to Suit Their NeedsOoredoo is offering three different SIM plans, providing flexibility and choice for customers. Starting at just 10KD monthly, these plans come with a wide range of benefits that will keep customers connected throughout the summer.Experience the Latest Samsung Smartphones: A Series & S SeriesAs part of the "Your Summer On Us" offer, Ooredoo introduces the latest Samsung Smartphones A Series & S Series with plans starting at 11KD monthly, for those seeking cutting-edge technology and unparalleled performance.With benefits including 5G internet, roaming data, minutes of international calls, and unlimited SMS and local minutes, customers can immerse themselves in a world of limitless possibilities.Embrace Innovation with iPhonesOoredoo understands the allure of the iconic iPhone to Apple users, which is why the "Your Summer On Us" offer includes the latest iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro.Priced from 25KD monthly, these devices come bundled with exceptional benefits including 5G internet, roaming data, international calls, and unlimited SMS and local minutes. Customers can experience the epitome of elegance and functionality with the iPhone, all while staying connected throughout the summer."Our goal with the 'Your Summer On Us' offer is to provide our customers with unbeatable value and a wide range of options," said Naser Al-Abdullah, Director of Marketing Communications at Ooredoo Kuwait. "We want everyone to enjoy a remarkable summer by staying connected to their loved ones and having access to the best devices and plans available."Customers can visit any Ooredoo store and explore the postpaid plans and devices that suit their lifestyle. They can connect, share, and experience the season like never before with Ooredoo.

Ooredoo, Lenovo partner to enhance business offerings with 5G, AI solutions

Doha: Ooredoo, the leading ICT enabler in Qatar, announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Lenovo, a global technology leader. The MoU paves the way for the two companies to collaborate on innovative solutions for the B2B sector, with a focus on data sovereignty, private 5G solutions, advanced AI solutions and High-Performance Computing (HPC) as a service.The signing of the MoU took place recently at Ooredoo's Headquarters in West Bay and was attended by Ooredoo’s Chief Business Officer, Thani Ali I A Al-Malki and Lenovo's General Manager META, Alaa Bawab, who both signed the agreement. Senior executives from both sides were also in attendance, including Ooredoo Qatar’s CEO, Sheikh Ali Bin Jabor Bin Mohammed Al Thani.The agreement between Lenovo and Ooredoo is aimed at deploying Lenovo’s cutting-edge solutions across various industries, including healthcare, oil & gas, scientific research and public safety. These solutions will provide the necessary computing power and storage capacity to process and analyse vast amounts of data, enabling faster and more accurate diagnoses, more precise research, and more effective public safety measures. Lenovo's global experience as a leader in HPC, cloud, and edge computing will drive scientific and technological advancements in Qatar.There is increasing demand for advanced computing and storage solutions that enable real-time processing and analysis of large datasets in different sectors such as retail, healthcare, education and energy. To meet this need, Lenovo and Ooredoo will work together to bring in advanced technological solutions that deliver data sovereign Hybrid Cloud with 5G capabilities to their customers. These solutions will allow customers to process and store sensitive data in-country and at the edge, providing an extra layer of security and compliance.Thani Ali I A Al-Malki – Chief Business Officer, Ooredoo – said: "We are excited to enter into this strategic partnership with Lenovo that will see us further enhance our business offerings. Ooredoo is always on the look-out for new solutions to support the growth of businesses in Qatar, with the aim of creating solutions that will enable businesses to thrive and providing our customers with more innovative and upgraded services. This collaboration will enable us to do just that. We are confident that the partnership will result in significant benefits, and deliver transformational digital experiences to our customers."Alaa Bawab, General Manager at Lenovo Infrastructure Solutions Group, META said: “We recognise the value of telecommunications and aim to collaborate closely with Ooredoo to offer AI-powered solutions for the challenges on the road to a more connected future. Our high-performance computing service intends to drive scientific breakthroughs and our 5G-in-a-box approach promises diverse applications like traffic monitoring, public safety, manufacturing and logistics. Our solutions are customisable and tailored to meet specific requirements. Partnering with Ooredoo will establish a sustainable ecosystem in Qatar, providing the necessary infrastructure to support innovative research and bolster economic growth.”By collaborating closely with partners such as Lenovo, Ooredoo further demonstrates its strategic commitment to offering the Ooredoo advantage to business customers.

Ooredoo in the spotlight at Mobile World Congress 2023

 Following a report published by industry expert GSMA Intelligence (GSMAi) analysing the phenomenal telecommunications success of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Ooredoo Qatar was hosted by Mobile World Live at their studios in Barcelona in an exclusive webinar during Mobile World Congress 2023.With FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ spanning 64 matches across 8 stadiums, the report described the tournament as the ultimate opportunity to truly test the power and potential of 5G, setting new benchmarks that will shape future 5G-enabled events.Top of the Table: How the 2022 world Cup set a new peak in mobile data traffic webinar was held on Day 2 of MWC, with Thani Al Malki, Chief Business Officer at Ooredoo Qatar, representing the telco leader, alongside Tim Hatt – Head of Research and Consulting at GSMAi – and Jean Lawrence, Vice President of Marketing and Communications, Cloud and Network Services at Nokia.Thani Al Malki said: “We were excited to join this webinar and share insights into our experience at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. For us, the event itself was a showcase of how powerful the network is, of the power of 5G, and for what it can bring for consumers; and the webinar was an opportunity for us to look at how we’re going to apply what we’ve learnt from this experience in future events, and share our learnings with the industry.”The webinar participants discussed the phenomenal data traffic witnessed at the tournament, and examined the role of 5G in managing this traffic to ensure a seamless experience for fans.Tim Hatt said: “This event was a really interesting case study for what 5G can do, with the highest grossing data traffic of all time for sports. This was the first World Cup where 5G was installed to be the baseline communications infrastructure; it was a key test for how 5G would perform, and 5G absolutely passed that and then some. The building blocks were there, but this World Cup took it to a whole new level. Ooredoo and Nokia have shown a really good template of how to do such an event on a really big scale.”With the report documenting the phenomenal network performance seen at FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™, Jean Lawrence highlighted the role Nokia’s partnership with Ooredoo played in the event. She said: “We worked with Ooredoo for years in advance to lay the groundwork with our cloud-native core, and tested it extensively. Under extreme strain, the network performed very well; we saw page load times of under two seconds, video start times of under two seconConsumer behaviour and perception was also a topic on the table. With Tim Hatt noting that a majority of consumers around the world still see 5G as merely a speed upgrade, and not yet as a driver of fundamental new possibilities, the panellists discussed how the World Cup acted as an ideal example of just what is possible with 5G, and what will be possible in the future; a factor all agreed was a crucial element in increasing uptake of the technology. Examples noted in the GSMAi report include super-high-definition video and AR-type applications in live sporting venues, and fans accessing apps for real-time analytics and player information.Looking to the future, the webinar panellists were in agreement that FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ has indeed set a benchmark for future 5G-enabled events, and that possibilities at such events will be endless: tickets with holograms; all kinds of futuristic video and audio technologies; vastly enhanced connected stadiums; augmented reality enhancing key moments such as penalty shoot-outs.Thani Al Malki concluded: “As we move towards the next World Cup in 2026 in the USA, I think we will see a lot more technology involved, and in a very experiential way. We might even predict, using analytics and AI, the outcomes of the games before match day!”

Ooredoo ensures seamless connectivity

 Ooredoo – the Official Middle East & Africa Telecommunications Operator of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM - has expressed its gratitude to the many roaming partners with whom it worked to ensure the success of the event from a telecommunications perspective.Statistics show Ooredoo Qatar welcomed a whopping 1.3 million people on its roaming network while attending the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, a figure made possible by the numerous partners with whom Ooredoo signed contracts in preparation.Ooredoo welcomed roaming guests from more than 500 partner networks across the world, with more than 90 networks experiencing the company’s 5G speeds to radically transform visitors’ connectivity experience. The surge in roaming traffic ranged from 140% up to a phenomenal 269%.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, Deputy Group CEO and CEO of Ooredoo Qatar, said: “We are proud of the telecommunications experience we are offering during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM, and extend our sincere thanks to all the network partners with whom we have collaborated to enable this success and ensure seamless connectivity. With visitors from all across the globe, it was vital that we were able to make sure they could stay connected as they do at home and share their World CupTM experience with friends and loved ones.”Roaming usage was highest from countries neighbouring Qatar, such as GCC countries and India, and countries participating in the tournament, including Argentina, the USA and Brazil.Sheikh Mohammed added: “We were delighted to be recognised by many of our partners and renowned industry bodies for our efforts to ensure an upgraded fan experience with uninterrupted roaming connectivity for our visitors. We are proud to have lived up to expectations, delivering an experience befitting our prestigious status as Official Middle East Telecommunications Operator of FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022.

Ooredoo installs superior network assurance measures

Ooredoo and Huawei, two leaders in their respective fields in the international information and communications technology (ICT) sector, have teamed up ahead of the FIFA World Cup, to provide network assurance and the best ever customer experience during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022TM. Using its global experience of delivering network assurance programmes at international sporting events, along with the latest AR-assisted operations, Huawei will have 100 experts in place across different key locations in Qatar and remotely to ensure the success of the assurance programme during the World Cup. To make sure fans are always connected and will enjoy seamless voice and data services at the most hotly anticipated event of the year, latest generation network equipment has been deployed across seven FIFA stadiums, Qatar Rail metro lines and other major hotspots, to ensure the networks are fine-tuned, issues identified and fixed and comprehensive resilience tests performed. In addition, Ooredoo and Huawei have deployed a state-of-the-art international broadcast network solution, designed to seamlessly carry live broadcasting traffic globally around the clock, with centres installed at three different locations in Qatar to ensure its smooth operation. Ooredoo and Huawei have also launched next generation TV services through their fixed broadband network, which will provide an immersive experience for viewers in the state of Qatar who decide to watch the matches and live coverage from the comfort of their home.  The voice over LTE service experience will be upgraded and the platform enhanced to effectively manage the massively increased subscriber load anticipated during the event, with both companies working to maximise agility and performance, offering customised packages to customers at the click of a button. Additionally, Augmented Reality assisted operations will be used across FIFA stadiums and broadcast networks to ensure an error free experience.Sheikh Mohammed Bin Abdulla Al Thani, Chief Executive Officer, Ooredoo Qatar, said: “This strategic partnership between Ooredoo Qatar and Huawei looks set to be a winning team as the largest single-sport competition in the world comes to Qatar. Ooredoo continues to be committed to upgrading our customers’ world, and with 1.2 million fans expected to convene over the 29 days of the event, our common goal is to deliver transformational digital experiences for all, as well as to the billions watching on TV around the world.”Mr. Li Peng, President of Carrier BG Group, Huawei, said: "Huawei has a rich experience in various international sporting events. For this World Cup, Huawei will use multiple leading technologies in partnership with Ooredoo to contribute to the success of this exceptional event taking place in Qatar.”This is the latest in a series of strategic partnerships with key global technology players signed by the company to ensure an unrivalled World Cup experience for everyone.