Wataniya Telecom Maldives CEO Haroon Shahul Hameed

Wataniya Telecom Maldives CEO Haroon Shahul Hameed announced investment strategy in mobile networks and IT.

Wataniya Telecom Maldives, which boasts off wireless ARPU of $18 against India’s $2, has drafted a 5-thronged strategy to improve mobile customer experience.

The telecom operator’s five focus areas include technology modernization; customer experience management; expanding data market; engagement of employees; and micro segmentation.

Technology modernization

Wataniya Telecom will cover 90 percent of Maldives’ population with 3G from the present 75 percent.

The telecom operator, which spends around 10-12 percent of revenue on telecom Capex, will launch VoLTE (voice over LTE) next year. It’s also planning to expand 4G network to cover population from the present 31 percent.

Wataniya’s existing 3G+ network will be upgraded to the HSPA+ network. The new network infrastructure will be more environmentally friendly, consuming less power and less footprint than traditional equipment.

Last year, Wataniya Telecom Maldives signed a $25 million project with Huawei to modernize its Radio Access Network. The project involves upgrading Wataniya’s existing Radio Access Network with an advanced technology platform to provide enhanced coverage across the country, and offer an enriched experience for voice, data and media services for our customers.

Ooredoo, formerly known as Qtel Group, the parent company of Wataniya Telecom Maldives, reported revenues of $9.3 billion in 2012 (QAR 33.7 billion) and had a customer base of more than 92.9 million as of 31 December 2012.

Qtel Group invested $1.34 billion as telecom Capex in Q1 2013, up 3 percent from Q1 2012. Qtel Group invests around 16 percent of revenue in Capex for expansion.

IT investments

Wataniya Telecom Maldives has completed phase I of the convergent billing system. It’s also investing in PCRF integration and VAS platforms to improve customer experience.

“Maldives, a country of 1,200 islands where connectivity is a major concern, has around 180 percent mobile penetration and around 35 percent of phones are smartphones. We are set to experience data explosion in coming years. We are gearing up to address customer demands by expanding IT and telecom networks,” Wataniya Telecom Maldives CEO Haroon Shahul Hameed told TelecomLead.com’s Baburajan K.

Wataniya Telecom Maldives is investing in training to its employees to improve skill sets and engagement levels.

The telecom operator will start generating revenue from enterprise as part of its new strategy on micro segmentation.

Wataniya Telecom Maldives’ growth in chart


Wataniya Maldives growth

Brief Profile of Haroon Shahul Hameed

Haroon Shahul Hameed joined Wataniya Telecom Maldives in 2012, with over 17 years of strategic and operational experience in the telecom, IT, marketing and sales in the Indian sub-continent. Since he joined Wataniya, Haroon has strategically aligned the company towards profitability, and the brand into a leadership position with aggressive product portfolios and focus on employee engagement and development. With the belief that passion is the differentiator of success, Haroon has driven the growth of Wataniya to make a difference for customers, employees and investors. In a matter of months, the company gained 9 percent in market share. Before moving Maldives, he worked in India with a couple of telecom operators.

Baburajan K
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