Thursday, August 17, 2017

At commercial launch event, Ooredoo celebrates while acknowledges network issues

Before the clock literally struck midnight on Ooredoo’s initial deals for Myanmar customers on August 14, the Qatar-based telecom threw a glitzy commercial launch at Myanmar International Convention Centre in Nay Pyi Taw. Smoke machines, dancing and dramatic music accompanied new announcements on starter packs and exclusive offerings from the company that showed it is paying attention to localization.

Ooredoo CEO Ross Cormack also took the time to acknowledge that their network had pressing issues that needed to be addressed.

While he said the service in Nay Pyi Taw and Mandalay is “fantastic,” he admitted that Yangon, the nation’s largest phone market, needed some work.

“Our network in Yangon needs to get better,” Mr Cormack told reporters. “We have built about 20 new base stations in response to people’s points to us.” Interconnecting with MPT-powered phones should also get easier soon, as Ooredoo has been boosting capacity for national connectivity, said Mr Cormack.

Though Mr Cormack wouldn’t put an exact figure on how many SIM cards the company has sold, he called it a “really huge number”.

Ooredoo anticipates spreading its service coverage to about 25 million people in Myanmar by the year’s end, according to the company. At the close of its press event, a troupe of dancers in quasi-sailor suits carried Ooredoo and Myanmar flags. But the main focus of the event was on the successes of the historic launch.

“Mobile telecommunications services are today available, accessible and affordable to 7.8 million people in Myanmar living in 68 cities and towns,” said Nasser Marafih, CEO of Ooredoo Group.

Speaking to the government ministers and regulators assembled in the room, he said, “When the Union government of Myanmar issued the international contract of the telecommunication license, you set out the whole ambitious vision of the future of the country and the people.”